Christmas weekend was grim in Chicago even by this year's wretched standards for gun violence: Police say at least 41 people were shot, 11 fatally, between Friday evening and Sunday night, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The victims include James Gill, 18, and Roy Gill, 21, who were killed when somebody came out of an alley and opened fire on a front porch during a family party, the Chicago Tribune reports. Five others were wounded in that shooting alone, two of them critically. Hours earlier, a man around 40 was pronounced dead in a South Side hospital after having been shot multiple times near the Apostolic Labor of Love church, where a pool of blood could be seen on the front step.
Chicago Police Department spokesman Jose Estrada tells the New York Times that the number of homicides in the city so far this year is 745, up from 476 at this time last year, and marking the first time since 1997 that there have been more than 700. He says the total number of shooting victims so far this year is 4,252, up 47% from 2,884 at this time in 2015. Most victims are men under 30. The number of murders in Chicago this year is on course to top that of Los Angeles and New York City combined. Police blame the high rate of gun violence on gang warfare and a "small subset" of extremely violent offenders.