Chicago's violent streak of shootings continued, as five people were killed and at least 12 others wounded by shootings between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, police said, bringing the week's total number of fatal shootings to 18 so far, with another 81 wounded.
Shortly after 9:00pm on Friday, a 16-year old was killed while sitting in the front passenger seat of a car. Not even two hours after, around 10:30pm, a 22-year-old man died after being shot in the neck. At 1:30am, one man was killed when he and another man were shot as they sat in a minivan on Chicago's west side. Around 3:40am on Saturday, police reported that another three men had been shot – one fatally – in the University Village neighborhood on the near west side of Chicago. About 6:30am on Saturday, a 23-year-old man was shot and killed on Chicago's westside.
The youngest victim of the day was a six-year-old girl who was injured after a bullet struck and shattered a restaurant window.
The Chicago Tribune listed the deaths on Saturday morning in a crime-blotter like article that topped its homepage, in addition to a litany of other shootings that took place overnight but did not injure or kill anyone.
Unfortunately, the last 24-hours were nothing unusual for Chicago, a city whose name is often synonymous with gun violence. "Shooting in Chicago is like cancer," Charles Parker, 46, told the New York Times recently. Parker said that gun violence has been spreading from known hotbeds of unrest to blocks that had long been considered safe.
Last week, an example of the city's violence traveled around the world by particularly grim means: 28-year-old Antonio Perkins was broadcasting live on Facebook when he was fatally shot.
About six minutes into the live stream, gunshots and screaming can be heard, and the camera falls to the ground. The live stream continued for another 30 minutes.
Shootings have spiked by 50 percent this year in the Windy City, placing it at the heart of the nation's raging debate over gun control. But using Chicago to make the case for gun control has its own set of problems. The city has some of the toughest firearm laws in the country, yet continues to be plagued by shootings and gun crime. Lawmakers who oppose gun control often tout the city as an example for why gun control doesn't work.
But gun control advocates say that its too easy to traffic guns between states that have tough gun regulation, and those which have very little regulation.
Philip Cook, a Duke public policy professor and economist who works with the University of Chicago Crime Lab, told Bloomberg that about 60 percent of guns which were recovered in Illinois in connection with an arrest were from out of state — over a third of which came from neighboring Indiana, which "isn't regulated at all." Gang activity was mostly to blame for the availability of guns in Chicago, Cook said.
According to a site which compiles shooting and homicide data in Chicago from analyzing local news stories, gun violence watchdogs and official data, gunshots have accounted for more than 89 percent of homicides since the start of 2016 – claiming 254 victims in total. It also found that 40 people have been shot and killed since the beginning of this month – and 192 people shot and wounded.