Chicago saw approximately 52 people shot during Memorial Day weekend, despite a heavier police presence throughout the city.
Seven people died from their wounds in a spate of violence that lasted from Friday evening to early Tuesday morning, reports NBC News.
One victim, a 15-year-old boy, died from a gunshot wound in the back as part of a drive-by shooting in his neighborhood Sunday evening. A 16-year-old girl who was with him at the time was also shot in the back.
The violence worsened Monday night when 13 people were shot during a four hour period.
“This is sad, man,” a 37-year-old gas station cashier told NBC News. “I’m sick of seeing this s–t. I wish it would just end already, this violence is not necessary.”
The Chicago Police Department (CPD) sent out 1,300 additional police officers to combat the city’s violence this year. Officers conducted gang raids and worked to get guns off the street. Police arrested 77 people from Saturday night to Sunday and confiscated 10 illegal guns, the department’s spokesperson said.
“Our focus this year was increased visibility, first and foremost, and really trying to prevent problems before they started, so proactive targeted enforcement,” CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. “Our objective was to get them off the streets, so there wouldn’t be conflicts over the weekends.”
The year’s violence was significantly lower than 2016’s shootings over Memorial Day weekend. Seventy-one people were shot last year and approximately 55 people were shot in 2015 during Memorial Day weekend.
“You have to be proactive, you can’t be reactive to the situation,” Alderman David Moore told WGN TV Monday. “When you continue to do this, we’ll continue to see this reduction in crime.”
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