Nine people have been killed, including four under the age of 18, and 47 more were injured in shootings across Chicago on Father’s Day weekend, police said.
Two teenage boys, a 3-year-old, and a 13-year-old girl are among those who were killed, officials told ABC7 in Chicago.
The 3-year-old’s death was also confirmed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who wrote that “our city’s collective heart breaks to hear the unfathomable news of a 3-year-old boy who was shot and killed tonight on Chicago’s West Side.”
“There are simply no words to describe such a heinous, unconscionable act of cowardice to shoot at a toddler,” Lightfoot wrote.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, officials said the toddler was identified as Mekay James, who was struck in the back when a suspect approached his father’s black SUV before firing several rounds.
Our city’s collective heart breaks to hear the unfathomable news of a 3-year-old boy who was shot and killed tonight on Chicago’s West Side. There are simply no words to describe such a heinous, unconscionable act of cowardice to shoot at a toddler.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) June 21, 2020
In one incident in the Austin neighborhood, two teenage boys were sitting on a porch when one noticed a laser being pointed at him, according to police. Gunshots then erupted, injuring the two boys, who are in good condition. However, a 13-year-old girl who was inside the home was shot in the neck during the incident and later died.
The Chicago Sun-Times, citing the Cook County medical examiner’s office, identified the teen girl as Amaria Jones.
Officials said that in a separate incident, a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old male were killed in an alley in South Chicago’s South Luella Avenue. A male suspect approached the two and opened fire.
A running tally compiled by the Chicago Tribune says that 227 more people have been shot across Chicago this year, compared with the figures in 2019. So far, nearly 1,300 people have been shot.
On Memorial Day weekend, which saw violent unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death, more than 50 people were injured in shootings across the city. Ten people were fatally shot, marking the deadliest Memorial Day weekend in five years.
The weekend violence came as Chicago aldermen announced a plan last week to remove police officers from city schools amid growing outcry for police reforms.
Protesters take to the streets of Chicago, Ill., on June 6, 2020. (Natasha Moustache/Getty Images)
The proposal ending the city’s $33 million deal with the Chicago Police Department follows similar action in Minneapolis and Seattle. Proponents say police in schools can be intimidating to students and criminalize student behavior in Chicago’s public schools.
Alderman Roderick Sawyer, a sponsor, said historically police were called to schools to protect from outside threats.
“Now our students are being criminalized for being students at CPS and that’s not right,” he said at a news conference. “We want to make sure that our children have every opportunity to learn and grow from children to young adults and police officers in schools is not the answer.”
The plan, to be introduced Wednesday for a vote next month, requires the police chief to end the contract within 75 days.