At least eight people have died and 19 more were wounded in shootings across Chicago so far this weekend, police said on Sunday.
From Jan. 1 until the end of last month, more than 450 people have been murdered in the city, marking an uptick from previous years, according to a tally that compiles news reports. At least 2,300 people have been shot.
During the same time frame last year, there were 290 homicides and 1,480 shootings, according to The Associated Press.
The latest fatal shooting occurred early on Sunday morning, officials said. Two men were shot and killed while sitting in a parked vehicle on the West Side after someone approached them and shot them several times in the head, police told the AP.
The first fatal shooting involved a 9-year-old boy, identified later as Janari Ricks, who was playing Friday when he was shot in the chest, officials said.
“He wanted to help rebuild the community, rebuild something that the kids can enjoy later down the line,” the boy’s mother, Jalisa Ford, was quoted as saying by the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s gone, it’s taken away.”
“Now I’m burying my son,” she told WMAQ-5. “I gotta relive this all over again. He [is] all I had. I don’t have nobody. My son is gone.”
Chicago police told the station that the suspected gunman walked up to a group of people, including the child, before opening fire.
Brian McDermott, chief of operations for the Chicago Police Department, told reporters that he believes Janari was unintentionally shot. It’s not clear who the intended target was.
As violent crime has risen in numerous U.S. cities in 2020, President Donald Trump said he would send in federal officers to some, including Chicago, as part of Operation Legend. Other cities including Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Kansas City, and Albuquerque have received federal agents.
Officials said that Chicago is the only city in the program to get a new ballistics van commissioned.
“It is an excellent example of the partnership between our agency and others, and that case started because of ATF’s relationship with the Cook County Sheriff’s office and the onset is typical, and that is where we identify and want to disrupt those trafficking schemes and firearms trafficking is a cornerstone of our strategy,” said Kristen deTineo, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) spokeswoman, according to ABC7.