A Red July 4th Weekend Leaves Dozens Of Casualties In Chicago

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A bloody Fourth of July weekend left 60 people shot in Chicago, nine of them fatally, since Thursday afternoon. Many of the weekend's shootings occurred in the city's South Side neighborhoods.


In Chicago, there were many shootings over the July 4 weekend. Police say nine Chicago residents were killed; more than 50 were injured. At least eight people who were shot were shot by police. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy says his department had a plan over the July 4 holiday that included putting hundreds of more officers on the city streets when and where they were needed.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And what were the results?

GARRY MCCARTHY: A lot of shootings and a lot of murders, unfortunately.

CORLEY: McCarthy says Thursday, Friday and Saturday were busy but manageable days, but Sunday was a day full of shootings and murders. Chicago police shot people including a 16-year-old who ran when approached.

MCCARTHY: What he had under his shirt was what you can best refer to as a "Dirty Harry" gun.

CORLEY: A .44 magnum with an 8-inch barrel. The 16-year-old died, as did another 16-year-old shot by police. His mother reportedly call police trigger-happy. McCarthy says that accusation is absurd. And Chicago community activist Andrew Holmes, attending today's press conference, says there has to be some accountability.


ANDREW HOLMES: My condolence goes out to the family, but sometimes the families have to turn around and think, hey, wait a minute, what was my son doing with this gun in the first place? Whose gun is it?

CORLEY: And McCarthy says the proliferation of illegal guns is what makes Chicago so different from other big cities like New York or LA. Over the weekend, police confiscated 100 illegal guns, and the police superintendent is again calling for stronger gun laws.

MCCARTHY: There's too many guns coming in and too little punishment going out.

CORLEY: Despite the bloody weekend, Chicago's violent crime rate is still on the decline. But after this weekend, that's some news that no one is talking about. Cheryl Corley, NPR News, Chicago.


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