A 9-year-old boy has become one of the latest victims of shooting crimes in Chicago, Illinois, which has seen a spike in murders and shooting incidents from illegal gun use.
According to local reports, police said the 9-year-old victim, Janari Andre Ricks, was killed by gunfire Friday night in the Cabrini Green neighborhood of Chicago’s Near North Side.
The boy was playing in a parking lot nearby his home when the fatal shooting occurred.
He was hit multiple times, including gunshots to the chest, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
First responders performed CPR before the boy was transported to Lurie Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The boy was not targeted in the shooting, police said, although it remains unclear what the motive of the perpetrator was. The shooter has not been identified and community activist Andrew Holmes has offered a $4,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Local media reported that detectives are still investigating the incident. Witnesses with any tips are asked to call in anonymously to Chicago police.
“When a 9 year old’s life is ended by a bullet, we must all be outraged,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote on Twitter after news of the death of the child on Saturday. “These deaths are not mere statistics. And prayers alone will not sooth a broken heart.”
We must and will hold those responsible for this shooting accountable. I ask all residents with information on this incident to submit a tip anonymously at https://t.co/JVXGpQxj99.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) August 1, 2020
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told CNN’s Jake Tapper in the wake of the spike in shootings on July 26 that she had asked President Donald Trump in a letter to implement what she called “common sense gun control” across the nation instead of sending federal troops to Chicago to assist police in curbing the violence.
“The fact of the matter is our gun problem is related to the fact that we have too many illegal guns on our street, 60 percent of which come from states outside of Illinois,” Lightfoot said. “We are being inundated with guns from states that have virtually no gun control, no background checks, no ban on assault weapons. That is hurting cities like Chicago.”
According to data released by Chicago police (pdf), the month of July saw the city’s murder rate increase by 152 percent and shootings increase by 62 percent compared to the same period in 2019. However, overall crime across the city, which includes sexual assault, robbery, and burglaries, was reported to have decreased 7 percent, the data revealed.
While shootings increased by 62 percent, police said that more than 5,600 illegal guns had been seized and 3,700 gun arrests made since the start of the year—a 5 percent increase from the same period last year, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.