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61 shot, 11 fatally, over Christmas weekend

Chicago Tribune logoChicago Tribune 12/27/2016 Peter Nickeas, Megan Crepeau, Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas
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CHICAGO — Seventeen people have been wounded in shootings in Chicago since Monday morning, including a 14-year-old girl in critical condition after a shooting in Gresham.

She was among 61 people shot since Christmas weekend began on Friday afternoon, according to data kept by the Tribune.

The 14-year-old was with a 13-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy in a van outside Leland Giants Park just after 11:30 p.m. 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.

The 14-year-old was shot in the back and went to Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition. The 13-year-old was grazed in the arm and taken to Saint Bernard Hospital in good condition. The 2-year-old was unharmed, police said.

Eleven of the 60 people shot over the weekend died from their wounds. More than a dozen others were listed in serious or critical condition.

The city has seen eight multiple-victim shootings, including two double homicides. One was an attack in the East Chatham neighborhood that left two dead and five others wounded, and an attack in the Austin neighborhood left two dead.

Members of the Chicago Fire Department transport a person who was shot near the intersection of South May Street and West 58th Street on Monday, Dec. 26, 2016 in Chicago, Ill. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS) © Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS Members of the Chicago Fire Department transport a person who was shot near the intersection of South May Street and West 58th Street on Monday, Dec. 26, 2016 in Chicago, Ill. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS) Much of the violence happened in areas “with historical gang conflicts on the south and west side of Chicago,” said Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department.

The shootings added to the tolls this year in Chicago, where more than 700 homicides have been recorded with more than 4,000 people shot — a level of violence not seen in Chicago since the late 1990s, according to Tribune and police data. Last year, 488 people were killed in Chicago.

The holiday weekend began with five teenagers shot within feet of each other in the South Austin neighborhood. At 3:30 p.m. Friday, a 16-year-old boy was shot in the 4900 block of West Kinzie Street. A little more than an hour later, four other teenagers were shot just feet away, in the 4900 block of West Hubbard Street. Their conditions had stabilized.

Guglielmi said most of the attacks were targeted attacks by gangs against potential rivals who were at holiday gatherings. That only brought on retaliatory gun violence. In response, police adjusted their assignments as needed and seized 45 guns from areas with a heavy presence of gangs, Guglielmi said.

“While we have promising leads, this unacceptable level of gun violence demonstrates the clear and present need for policy makers to convene in January and give Chicago the gun sentencing tools against repeat offenders so that we can adequately hold people accountable,” he said.

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