It was a sad holiday weekend in Chicago this year.
Local news outlets are reporting that nearly 80 people were shot in the city, and 15 of them have died. Twelve of the shooting victims were minors, and two children were killed.
The sad statistics come in amid a still-raging coronavirus pandemic that has left Cook County with over 4,500 virus-related deaths.
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Shootings in the city are up more than 30% and homicides are up more than 40% from last year. Mayor Lori Lightfoot says that many issues are contributing to the increase. “All these forces coming together at the same time are making things very difficult.”
According to a CNN report, officials in Chicago say those forces include people having been cooped up for a long time due to stay-at-home orders.
Officials also note that the police department has been impacted by many officers who have fallen sick or have died because of the virus. People are also responding to the number of inmates in the Cook County jail who have been infected with the virus or have died, and the fact that courts in the area have also closed.
“These layers and layers of things that are a complicated ecosystem of public safety that isn’t just law enforcement, but also local community-based services, they too have really been hit hard by COVID and are just coming back online and getting their footing,” Lightfoot told Omar Jimenez.
Those points, while valid, are little comfort to families.
7-year-old Natalia Wallace was shot dead while visiting her grandmother on Saturday night. She was struck in the head as she and other children played in their yard.
According to CBS Chicago, her family described the girl as “sweet, shy, loving, and good at math.”
“Kids outside playing, they shouldn’t have to worry about guns and people shooting,” Natalia’s father, Nathan Wallace, told CBS 2.
Just hours later, a 14-year-old boy was killed when eight people were shot on his block. Two other boys, 11 and 15 were also wounded.
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President Donald Trump addressed the shootings in Chicago and New York in a tweet on Sunday saying, “Federal Government ready, willing and able to help, if asked!”
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