A teenage girl is among at least 7 killed and 35 hurt in shootings between Friday evening and early Monday morning in Chicago, as gun violence failed to relent amidst a rare visit from the First Family.
Shakaki Asphy, 16, was sitting on the porch of a vacant home in the city's West Englewood neighborhood around 7 p.m. Saturday when a shooter wearing a grey hoodie opened fire, ABC Chicago reports.
Shakaki died shortly after the shooting at a hospital. A second teen -- Leon Cunningham, 18 -- was wounded in the same shooting. Cunningham was paralyzed by a shooting while sitting on the porch of his own nearby home a few years before, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. He was in his wheelchair at the time of the Saturday shooting.
"It’s crazy," Della Cunningham, Leon's mother, told the Sun-Times. "An innocent girl got shot and my son got shot again -- for no reason."
The shooting took place on the same block where, in 2006, 10-year-old Siretha White was fatally shot while celebrating her surprise birthday party on a porch, according to CBS Chicago.
Tiffany Edwards, 25, was also among those fatally shot over the weekend in Chicago. She was riding in the front passenger seat of a van in the 7600 block of South State Street early Sunday when a shooter opened fire, according to ABC. (Scroll down for more on Edwards' shooting death.)
CBS Chicago lists more of the weekend shootings.
The 7 killed and 35 hurt in weekend shootings of a weekend that saw 8 killed and at some 46 wounded by gun violence in Chicago. Three people were killed and 29 wounded in shootings during the weekend prior to that. The city's homicide rate is up more than 50 percent over last year.
Putting the shootings into chilling context, more Chicago residents have been victims of homicide so far this year than the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan.
The weekend marked the first opportunity for Chicago police to take part in a new initiative allowing them to receive overtime pay for working on their days off, a program that aims to reduce gun violence. NBC Chicago reports that less than 60 officers have signed up so far.
Michael Shields, Fraternal Order of Police president, said to the station that the initiative won't be able to offset the challenges presented by the Chicago Police Department being short-staffed:
Chicago police officers can't be everywhere. Because they're racing from one 911 call to the next, and with manpower as it is right now, it's very difficult to deter crime.
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy appeared on several local news stations last week to discuss the uptick in fatal shootings in the city and pointed out that while "none of it is OK," overall crime in the city is down 10 percent. He said last Tuesday that the city was dealing with a "perception problem" when it comes to its homicide and shooting rates, the Chicago Tribune reported.
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