CHICAGO -- Gun violence continued to plague Chicago, with eight people killed, including a 9-year-old boy, and at least 19 other people wounded so far this weekend, police said Sunday.
From Jan. 1 through the end of July, there were 440 homicides in Chicago and 2,240 people were shot, a number that includes those killed, according to the Chicago Police Department.
The latest fatal shooting occurred early Sunday, when two men were killed as they sat in a vehicle parked on Chicago’s West Side. Both were shot multiple times in the head, according to police.
The first reported fatal shooting of the weekend occurred Friday evening in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood, where 9-year-old Janari Ricks was playing when he was fatally shot in the chest. Police said the boy was not the intended target. No arrests have been made in that case.
“He wanted to help rebuild the community, rebuild something that the kids can enjoy later down the line," the boy’s mother, Jalisa Ford told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s gone, it’s taken away.”
Homicides and shootings have surged in Chicago during the first seven months of the year. The 440 homicides and 2,240 people shot by the end of this July compares to 290 homicides and 1,480 shootings in Chicago in the same period last year.
July was especially violent; the city recorded 105 homicides and 584 shootings.
Violent crime has risen in many U.S. cities this year. President Donald Trump recently announced he was sending federal agents to some of them, including Chicago, as part of what he calls Operation Legend to help local authorities fight such crime.
Although federal agents in Chicago are primarily assisting police in investigating violent crime, an Alcohol. Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent intervened when he saw an attempted carjacking Friday, firing on the suspect. ATF spokeswoman Kimberly Nerheim said the agent, a regular full-time Chicago Field Division staffer who is not part of Operation Legend, did not wound anyone and the suspect or suspects got away.
ATF’s Office of Professional Responsibility is conducting a use-of-force investigation, and Chicago police are handling the carjacking probe, Nerheim said.