Chicago Fourth of July Weekend Shootings Leave 19 Dead, 104 Wounded: Reports

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
July 6, 2021 Updated: July 6, 2021

The Fourth of July weekend was Chicago’s deadliest yet this year, with local media outlets reporting that 104 people were shot, leaving 19 dead.

The shootings tally, compiled by the Chicago Sun-Times, noted 13 children wounded, including a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy injured by gunfire in a single incident, and a 5-year-old girl shot in the leg.

Local residents expressed dismay at the number of children shot, with a 27-year-old man telling the Chicago Sun-Times that much of the gun violence is driven by score-settling, but when “you see a whole bunch of kids, something should click in your head saying not to shoot.”

Two Chicago police officers were shot and wounded early Monday while trying to break up a crowd following Fourth of July gatherings, according to authorities.

A statement from police said they had responded to several large groups in the city, leading to multiple arrests.

“There’s been a lot of large crowd gatherings tonight, a lot of celebratory fireworks going off, kind of spontaneous,” police Superintendent David Brown said. “They were dispersing a crowd when they heard shots and felt pain.”

Police said one of the wounded officers was struck in the foot and the other was hit in the thigh. Both were taken to a hospital and their injuries were not life-threatening, police said.

Chicago has seen a number of mass shootings in recent weeks, stoking broader concerns about a spike in gun-related violence.

Statistics released Tuesday by the Chicago Police Department (pdf) through July 4 show essentially the same number of killings but 11 percent more shootings in the city so far this year compared to the same period a year ago.

The police figures also show a 22 percent rise in criminal sexual assaults and a 9 percent rise in motor vehicle thefts in Chicago so far this year compared to the same period last year, while the number of burglaries has fallen by 39 percent and the number of incidents of aggravated battery has dropped by 7 percent.

The overall number of crime complaints in Chicago has fallen by 6 percent so far in 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, the statistics showed.

Across America, a total of 189 people were killed in shootings over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive.

In general, however, violent and property crime across the United States has fallen significantly since the early 1990s, when crime spiked across much of the nation, according to statistics published by the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the statistical arm of the Department of Justice.

Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'