Twenty four hours before the Chicago Police Department launched a day-long gun exchange program, a 14-year-old boy was shot and 13 others were wounded in a series of violent incidents across the city.
Antonio Davis, 14, was found dead at the scene of a possible drive-by in Hamilton Park around 8:40 Friday night, NBC Chicago reports.
Around 4 a.m. Saturday, two dark vehicles approached a group of at least six people in Lincoln Park, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. One vehicle drove into the crowd, injuring a 25-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman, and shots fired from the other vehicle sent a 26-year-old man to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious condition after a bullet struck his shoulder.
Eleven other people were shot overnight, including two men, 65 and 21, shot in Grand Crossing, a 17-year-old boy shot by an apparent peer on North Lockwood Avenue and a similar incident involving an 18-year-old man on North St. Louis Avenue, and three men in their 20s and a teen in critical condition with gunshot wounds to the back after two separate drive-by incidents, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The shootings preceded a day-long gun turn-in event hosted by the city, where 23 churches across Chicago will trade gift cards for real or replica firearms as part of an effort to reduce the number of handguns in circulation.
“There’s just way too many guns in this city," Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said at a press conference last week. "There’s way too many guns in the state of Illinois. And it’s one of those situations that if we don’t do something about it – and everything we do matters--if we don’t do something about it, it’s just going to continue at the rate that it is.”
Violent crime costs Chicago roughly $1.1 billion annually according to a study from the Center for American Progress, which analyzed direct and indirect costs stemming from violent crime across eight U.S. cities. Data analysis last week showed that more Chicago residents have been killed in Chicago in 2012 than U.S. troops in Afghanistan over the same time period.