Fireworks have been used as a form of celebration around the world for about 1,500 years—longer if you count pre-gunpowder displays featuring fire and bamboo. Thus, on certain holidays, including Independence Day, it is hardly unusual to hear the screams of whistling fountains, the bangs of bottle rockets, and the percussive booms of large flowering fireworks from backyard displays and licensed fireworks shows in your area. Unfortunately, for many in Chicago this year, some of the explosions that could be heard were not fireworks at all, but rather the sound of gunfire. According to local news outlets, at least 101 people were shot in the city between Friday afternoon and early Wednesday morning of the July 4th Holiday week.
Peaks and Valleys of Gun Violence
The violence began on the Friday before, with 19 people shot that day and 23 on Saturday—disturbing numbers, but not out of the ordinary necessarily. Sunday and Monday nights, by comparison, were rather quiet, according to data maintained by the Chicago Tribune, especially by summer standards, as 17 shooting occurred on the two evenings combined. Things remained relatively calm until Tuesday afternoon, however, as the holiday itself seemed to prompt additional violence. Between 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, the Tribune reports that 42 additional people were shot.
Reports seem to vary, but all told, in about 108 hours, there were 101 shootings throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, at least 14 of them fatal. The youngest victim was a seriously wounded 13-year-old boy in Gage Park, while the oldest person shot was a 60-year-old man in Lawndale. Both victims are expected to recover.
A Long Road Ahead
The Chicago Police Department is now faced with unenviable task of trying to put together exactly what happened in each shooting. Police detectives indicate that much of the violence was prompted by gang retaliation, and that alcohol also played a major factor in many cases. Numbers are not yet available regarding arrests and charges for those involved.
Facing Charges Related to Gun Violence?
If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with any type of weapons-related offense or a violent crime, the situation can become overwhelming very quickly. Prosecutors may pursue several different charges based on the circumstances of the case, with each carrying severe penalties. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Joliet to get the guidance you need. Attorney Jack L. Zaremba is a former Will County prosecutor who understands the law and knows the importance of protecting your rights. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.