Gun violence claims 14 lives during bloody July 4 weekend in Chicago
Published: Jul 06, 2021 05:38 PM
New York gunman shot dead after opening fire outside cathedral Christmas concert on Sunday. Photo: VCG

New York gunman shot dead after opening fire outside cathedral Christmas concert on Sunday. Photo: VCG

 The US celebrated Independence Day with parades, barbecues and fireworks, but in violence-plagued Chicago, 88 people were shot, 14 of them fatally.

The holiday weekend violence comes after increased media and police attention to the problem that has plagued Chicago all year, the nation's third-largest city which is on pace for more murders than the 774 recorded in 2020 - which was Chicago's second deadliest year in the last two decades and more than New York and Los Angeles combined.

Holiday weekends usually are especially deadly in Chicago, and because of that, members of Chicago's City Council took the unprecedented step of grilling police superintendent David Brown for six hours on July 2 about police strategies.

Despite the meeting, 10 more people were shot than last weekend, when 78 were shot, 10 fatally, across the city.

In 2020, 87 people were shot in Chicago, 17 fatally, over a four-day stretch that included July 4. That is a day more than this holiday weekend, so 2021's July 4 gun violence was worse.

Nationwide, there were more than 400 shootings over the weekend and at least 150 people died, according to data collected by the Gun Violence Archive.

And along with five children who were shot this weekend in Chicago, two police officers - a commander and a sergeant - were also shot early Monday morning while trying to disperse a crowd on Chicago's West Side. They are recovering from non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. 

Outside the hospital Monday, Brown provided updates on other Fourth of July shootings, including a 5-year-old girl shot Sunday afternoon and four other children shot over the weekend in separate incidents.

"As we've seen too many times, tragically, someone else is being targeted and the unintended target, an innocent child, is struck," the police superintendent said.

Fed up with gun violence, mothers and grandmothers in Austin, one of Chicago's most violent neighborhoods, went on a hunger strike and slept in a tent in the parking lot of an abandoned bank over the Independence Day weekend.