Chicago was hot with violence during the Easter holiday weekend. At least nine people have died and 37 were injured as gunfire spread across the city. Among those wounded were five children who were hurt on Sunday evening around 7:30 as they played outside. According to Garry McCarthy, Police Superintendent, the bloody holiday weekend does not change the fact that they have experienced a reduction in violent crime within the past two years.
McCarthy said they have a strategy and a plan but there is no magic formula to stop the senseless homicides. It is hard work which involves a day-by-day, minute-by-minute grind for law enforcement. This was the second weekend in a row where at least 36 individuals were hit by gunfire in the city. This is the busy season and it is what it is, but we are working on it, says the superintendent.
According to McCarthy the great majority of shootings in Chicago have been gang related. Detectives are working to determine which are to blame for the most recent spike of violence. In 2012 murders in the city increased to 516 but dropped to 415 in 2013. This was the lowest murder count in nearly 50 years in Chicago.
In addition to the five children who were injured as a vehicle drove by and open fired, elsewhere in South Lawndale bullets left two others dead.
A teenage eyewitness says he saw a portion of the shooting from inside his home. The boy said on Sunday about one o’clock in the afternoon on the corner of Sawyer Avenue and 28th Street he saw an orange Hummer block a Lincoln Navigator. There were two men which stepped out of the Hummer with masks on. After the deadly shooting took place the teen said he saw someone drive the Hummer away, south on Sawyer Avenue.
Chicago’s law enforcement said the two individuals who emerged from inside the Hummer with guns fired about a dozen bullets at the Lincoln Navigator, right beneath a “blue light” police camera. Police are still in search of the Hummer but found the Navigator at the corner of Kedzie Avenue and 24th Street.
Inside the Navigator law enforcement found 32-year-old Juan Ocon with a gunshot wound to his head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Another man, 19-year-old Timmy Bermudez, was also found with a gunshot wound in his chest. Bermudez was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:42 p.m.
A Cook County Sheriff’s correctional officer and his wife a Chicago Police officer were both found dead on Sunday morning about five o’clock in their Southwest Side home. According to Cara Smith, Cook County Sherriff’s spokeswoman, it is believed that Javier Acevedo shot his wife Veronica Acevedo before turning the gun on himself in an apparent murder-suicide.
An argument which erupted on Facebook resulted in the death of two teens on Saturday. Both young men were found in an apartment building around 10:30 Saturday morning with gunshot wounds to the head. The bodies of the two teens, 16-year-old Jordan Means and 18-year-old Anthony Bankhead, were found in a South Side apartment building in the 8200 block of South Houston Avenue.
Also on Saturday morning 43-year-old Darren Rey was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds. His lifeless body was found in the 2900 block of West Flournoy in an alley around 9:30, according to police.
Earlier Saturday morning 19-year-old Nicholas Ramirez was found murdered in the 1600 block of West Hubbard Street. According to police, two vehicles on Ashland Avenue were involved in a chase. The vehicle driven by Ramirez eventually crashed. After his vehicle crashed a man fired shots into Ramirez’s vehicle killing him. Ramirez suffered gunshot wounds to the leg and head.
On Friday night 20-year-old Trevolus Pickett was shot in the head in the 5200 block of West Congress Parkway in South Austin. The shooting took place around 11:15 after which the victim was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and pronounced dead.
McCarthy has repeatedly urged state lawmakers to adopt a mandatory minimum sentence for repeat gun offenders. He said the department’s ability to effectively reduce gun violence is hindered by the lax federal and state gun laws. Law enforcement can do things to improve what is going on but as long as repeat offenders stay on the streets it is as if they are drinking from a fire hose.
During the Easter holiday weekend Chicago exploded violence resulting in the murders of at least nine people and another 37 who were injured. According to McCarthy, the bloody holiday weekend does not change the fact that they have experienced a reduction in violent crime within the past two years.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)