CHICAGO — More than 60 people were shot over the holiday weekend, 11 of them fatally.
One of the most recent shootings left two teenage girls injured, one critically.
It happened just after 11:30 p.m. Monday outside of Leland Giants Park. The 14-year-old was with a 13-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy in a van. The 13-year-old’s father had just left the van to speak with someone in a nearby house when two people came up and fired shots into the vehicle, police said.
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While the 13-year-old sustained a graze wound and is in stable condition, the 14-year-old was shot in the back and is in critical condition at Comer Children’s Hospital. The 2-year-old was unharmed, police said.
Police say much of the deadly violence can be blamed on gangs.
“The anti-police rhetoric has emboldened and empowered these gang members to do what they do,” said Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson at a news conference Monday. “You know when they feel public will speak out for them, and not the police officers, that’s giving them the power to go out and do what they do.”
Community activists are calling on witnesses to break the code of silence.
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“We have to take our communities back. We have to take it back non-violently and peacefully,” said community activist Jessica Disu. “We must hold our police accountable as well as community members who are perpetrating crimes accountable. Enough is enough.”
Johnson also called on lawmakers to increase sentences for repeat gun violence offenders.