87 Shot, 17 Dead Over 4th of July Weekend in Chicago: Officials

87 Shot, 17 Dead Over 4th of July Weekend in Chicago: Officials
Chicago Police investigate in the 7200 block of South Artesian in Marquette Park, Chicago, where a man was shot multiple times and critically wounded on July 3, 2020. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times)
Jack Phillips
Eighty-seven people were shot in Chicago between 6 p.m. July 3 and midnight July 5, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said on July 6.

Thirteen of those shot were minors.

Seventeen of the victims died, including a 7-year-old girl who was shot and killed on July 4 in West Chicago, officials told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Natalia Wallace was shot in the head as she and other children played in a yard in the 100 block of North Latrobe Avenue in the Austin neighborhood, officials told CBS Chicago and other local news outlets.

In the incident, a light-colored vehicle pulled up and several people exited, some of whom then fired shots in the girl’s direction, officials said.

A 32-year-old male was hospitalized after being wounded in the shooting, police said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in fair condition.

“Kids outside playing, they shouldn’t have to worry about guns and people shooting,” Natalia’s father, Nathan Wallace, told the local CBS affiliate.

“To see my daughter on the table with a gunshot wound to the forehead, that will change somebody’s life,” he said in a press conference on July 5, ABC7 reported.

Chicago police said a person of interest is in custody. Charges are pending.

“It is sad you hear this on the news every day that a child getting killed, somebody getting killed, but you don’t think about it until it’s your own,” Wallace said.

Amid calls to “defund the police” following Black Lives Matter protests, Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that more officers would be deployed to the streets during the July 4 weekend. But Natalia’s father said they didn’t see any officers on their street corner.

“Something has to give in Chicago, and I pray that Lori Lightfoot and chief of police put something together to stop this,” Wallace said. “At the end of the day, our future is getting hurt.”

Lightfoot wrote, “A 7-year-old girl in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun.”

“We cannot grow numb to this. We are making progress in slowing shootings, but we have to do better, every single one of us.”

Hours after the girl’s death, a 14-year-old boy was among four people shot to death at a holiday gathering in the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago’s South Side, police told ABC News. The child was shot in the back and taken to a nearby children’s hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Four men walked up to the gathering and opened fire, striking the teenager. Four others, including an 11-year-old and a 15-year-old, were injured in the incident, authorities said.

The latest fatal attack, which occurred on July 6 around 2:30 a.m., left a 39-year-old man dead in the Lawndale neighborhood in West Chicago. He was identified as Sterling Pledge Jr., officials told the Sun-Times.

The violent Fourth of July weekend comes after about 100 people were shot, 14 fatally, over Father’s Day weekend, and more than 18 people were killed during a 24-hour period in late May.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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