Where 64 Are Shot, 6 Killed in One Weekend

Chicago neighborhoods torn apart by Memorial Day violence
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2016 3:45 PM CDT
Why Chicago Saw 64 Shot, 6 Dead in One Weekend
In this May 30, 2016, file photo, police work the scene where a man was fatally shot in the chest in Chicago's Washington Park neighborhood.    (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune via AP)

One long weekend. Sixty-four shootings. Six people dead. That was Memorial Day weekend in Chicago, where the New York Times sent in journalists to report on gun violence over three heart-breaking days. What they found: Little gun control, gangs bent on retaliation, and police so distrusted that most homicides go unsolved in black and Latino areas on the West and South Sides. Even shooting victims won't cooperate, and parents express relief when their adult children end up behind bars—where life seems safer. "Somehow these streets suck my son in," says a woman whose 20-year-old son, a gang member, was shot three times over three years and is now in jail. "His friends, they’re dropping like flies. The boys, the girls, all of them. It’s a never-ending cycle."

Weekend shootings stole one life after another—a teenage girl in a Jeep, a forklift-operator at a gas station, a young man sitting in his car about to visit his mother—but police are unlikely to make much headway. Despite having identified 1,300 core offenders with data analytics, the Chicago Tribune reports, the CPD only made arrests in just over 25% of roughly 470 city homicides in 2015. Meanwhile, efforts to ban handgun ownership in Chicago and mandate tougher sentences for illegal gun ownership in Illinois have fallen short. At Herb Harrington's barbershop, it's all fodder for conversation. "You’re talking about poverty and families broken up and people not having opportunity and losing their way," says Harrington. "Violence is what we talk about in these chairs. We talk about it. We analyze it. But we don't have easy answers." (Read more gun violence stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.