9 Dead, 53 Wounded in Fourth of July Weekend Violence in Chicago | NBC Chicago

9 Dead, 53 Wounded in Fourth of July Weekend Violence in Chicago

Among those killed was a 7-year-old boy who was shot while watching fireworks with his father

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    A 7-year-old boy who was watching fireworks with his father was among those killed in the city's Fourth of July weekend violence. NBC Chicago's Regina Waldroup reports. (Published Monday, July 6, 2015)

    Nine people died and 53 others were wounded in shootings across Chicago this Fourth of July weekend.

    Among those who died was a 7-year-old boy who was shot while watching fireworks in Humboldt Park with his father just before midnight Saturday.

    Amari Brown and his father were standing on the sidewalk in the 1100 block of North Harding when gunfire erupted around them, striking Amari and a 26-year-old woman, who was transported to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in stable condition, police said. Both were shot in the chest.

    The boy's father said he thought the sound of gunfire was just fireworks, and he didn't realize Amari had been shot until the boy called out for him.

    Boy, 7, Killed While Watching Fireworks in Humboldt Park

    [CHI] Boy, 7, Killed While Watching Fireworks in Humboldt Park
    A 7-year-old boy was shot to death while watching Fourth of July fireworks with his father in the Humboldt Park neighborhood Saturday night. NBC 5's Emily Florez reports. (Published Sunday, July 5, 2015)

    Amari's family say the little boy was a "jokester" and acted like a typical 7-year-old who loved to run and play. They say the best way to describe him is "a sweet, sweet little boy."

    No one is in custody for the shooting. Activist Pastor Ira Acree, of Greater St. John Bible Church on the West Side, said he will offer a reward for any information leading to the offender's arrest.

    Another victim of a fatal shooting was a 17-year-old boy who was shot near recently named Hadiya Pendleton Park in the 4300 block of South King. The teen, identified as Vonzell Banks, a junior at Dunbar Vocational High School, was likely not the intended target, police said.

    Banks and a 19-year-old man were standing outside the park at about 4:45 p.m. Friday when a vehicle approached them and someone inside opened fire, police said. The 19-year-old was shot in the right foot and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where his condition stabilized.

    Teen Killed in Shooting Near Hadiya Pendleton Park

    [CHI] Teen Killed in Shooting Near Hadiya Pendleton Park
    A 17-year-old boy was killed in a shooting near Hadiya Pendleton Park on the South Side Friday. Police say he was likely not the intended target. (Published Saturday, July 4, 2015)

    Banks' aunt, LaShanda Childs, told the Chicago Sun-Times that her nephew was playing basketball with his older brother and some friends when the shooting took place. Childs described Banks as a "church boy," who loved playing the drums and who attended Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer.

    The park in which Banks was fatally shot was named after Hadiya Pendleton, a King College Prep honor student who was gunned down just days after performing at President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony with her high school band.

    The first homicide of the long holiday weekend happened Thursday evening in the Little Village neighborhood. A 20-year-old man was riding a bicycle in the 2700 block of South Karlov when someone ran up to him and began to shoot him repeatedly in his upper body, police said.

    The victim was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

    Spike Lee, Fr. Pfleger March for Peace as Fourth of July Weekend Off to Bloody Start

    [CHI] Spike Lee, Fr. Pfleger March for Peace as Fourth of July Weekend Off to Bloody Start
    Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church and "Chiraq" director Spike Lee joined dozens in a march for peace Friday as the Fourth of July weekend got off to a bloody start. (Published Saturday, July 4, 2015)

    Another man, 46, was killed in a shooting in the South Side Washington Heights neighborhood early Friday morning, police said.

    The man and a 43-year-old woman were walking in an alley in the 9100 block of South Ashland when someone in a passing car fired shots at them, killing the man and injuring the woman.

    Early Saturday, a  26-year-old man was sitting on a porch at about 12:05 a.m. in the 4800 block of South Justine in the Back of the Yards neighborhood when someone walked up to him and shot him in the back, police said.

    The victim was taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

    A 23-year-old man was killed and two other injured in a shooting early Sunday morning in the North Side Albany Park neighborhood.

    The three victims were sitting inside a van in an alley near Sunnyside and Kimball when a gunman walked up to them and fired shots.

    The victims who survived the shooting were identified as a 26-year-old woman and a 17-year-old boy.

    In another fatal shooting incident, two men were sitting inside a car at about 6:10 a.m. Sunday in the 1600 block of West 89th Street in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood when another man walked up to them and opened fire, police said.

    One of the men, age 25, was shot multiple times and was later pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. The second victim, whose age was not known, was found unresponsive in the car and pronounced dead on the scene.

    The most recent fatal shooting happened Sunday afternoon in the Calumet Heights neighborhood. A 48-year-old man was shot in the chest at about 4:55 p.m. in the 9200 block of South Harper, police said.

    The man was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was later pronounced dead, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

    The holiday weekend is often marked by an uptick in violence in Chicago. Last year, there were a total of 67 people shot — 11 fatally — throughout the long weekend.

    At least 41 other people were wounded in shootings since Thursday, including the following incidents: 

    • A 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl were shot at about 12:10 a.m. Sunday in the 1400 block of North Hudson in the Old Town neighborhood.
    • A man was shot in the arm and chest at about 12:10 a.m. Sunday near the Chicago Blue Line station in West Town.
    • A 19-year-old man was shot in the abdomen at about 10:05 p.m. Saturday in the 200 block of East Ohio Street, just a few blocks from Navy Pier, following the Fourth of July fireworks show.
    • A 24-year-old man was shot in the foot at about 11:45 a.m. Saturday in the 6600 block of South Bell in the West Englewood neighborhood.
    • Two men, ages 23 and 21, were shot at about 6 a.m. Saturday in the 4700 block of West Addison in the Portage Park neighborhood.
    • A 41-year-old man was shot in the back and arm while sitting in a car at about 3:20 a.m. Saturday. The incident happened in the 4200 block of West Cermak in the North Lawndale neighborhood.
    • A man was shot in the shoulder and leg at about 11:45 p.m. Friday in the 700 block of East 44th Street in the Grand Boulevard neighborhood.
    • A 19-year-old man was shot at about 11:40 p.m. Friday in the 200 block of West 104th Street in the Roseland neighborhood.
    • A 33-year-old man was shot in the chin, arm and stomach at about 7:45 p.m. Friday in the 3500 block of West 24th Street in the Little Village neighborhood.
    • A 25-year-old man was shot in the foot at about 12:15 a.m. Friday in the 2100 block of West Randolph on the Near West Side.
    • A 19-year-old man was injured at about 4:45 p.m. Thursday when a gunman on a bicycle approached him and began firing shots. The incident happened in the 11800 block of South State in the West Pullman neighborhood.

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