Chicago, IL – At least 102 people were shot in Chicago over Father’s Day weekend, and 14 of them died, including a three year old.
It was the bloodiest weekend this year so far in the city known for gun violence on holiday weekends, but it wasn’t the deadliest, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Eighty-five people were shot over Memorial Day weekend, with 24 fatalities.
“Bullets don’t just tear apart the things they strike,” Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said at a press conference on Sunday. “Bullets also tear apart families. Bullets destroy neighborhoods and they ruin any sense of safety in a community.”
Five of the fatalities over Father’s Day weekend were minors, including a three-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl.
Three-year-old Meekay James was riding through the Austin area in the backseat of his father’s vehicle at about 6:25 p.m. on Saturday when somebody opened fire, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Authorities said someone in a blue Honda fired several rounds into the black SUV driven by Meekay’s father in the 600-block of North Central Avenue.
He drove the wounded toddler straight to the emergency room West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, but the three year old was pronounced dead shortly after they got there, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Police said investigators believe that the toddler’s 27-year-old father was the gunman’s target, the Chicago Tribune reported.
He was also struck by a bullet, but it was only a graze wound to his abdomen.
Police said the toddler’s father was not cooperating with investigators, WGN reported.
An hour earlier, at about 5:10 p.m., 17-year-old Jasean Francis and a 16-year-old Charles Riley were fatally shot in the 7900-block of South Luella Avenue, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Francis was shot in the back, chest and hand, and Riley was shot in the back and side.
Both teenagers were pronounced dead at University of Chicago Medical Center, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Just two hours after the toddler was killed, at about 6:30 p.m. on June 20, a 13-year-old girl was shot in the neck inside her home in the 1000-block of North LeClaire Avenue.
The girl – later identified as 13-year-old Amaria Jones – was transported to Stroger hospital and pronounced dead, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
A fifth minor was killed early on Monday morning.
That 15-year-old boy was fatally shot while walking with a friend in the alley of the 4700-block of West Superior Street at about 12:18 a.m. on June 22, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Chicago police said someone opened fire on the boys from a grey sedan, and the 15-year-old was hit in the leg, chest, and abdomen.
He was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The other boy, whom police said was 16 years old, was reportedly in in “fair condition” after being shot in the ankle.
“A line was crossed,” Reverend Ira Acree, of Greater St. John Bible Church, said Sunday to his congregation, according to the Chicago Tribune. “This is a horrific Father’s Day. This 3-year-old baby lost his life… I could not pastor this community and not say something.”
Superintendent Brown said the police were working hard to find the suspects responsible for the shootings, according to WGN.
Community leaders have offered a $10,000 reward for any information in the killing of Meekay James, WGN reported.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also weighed in with a statement released on Twitter Saturday night.
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
“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 tweeted.