Outbreaks of violence have already been reported just hours into Fourth of July weekend, with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and activists pleading for peace and police ramping up efforts to protect the city.
In one recent incident, two people were killed and three others were injured in a mass shooting early Friday in the Loop. Then, in the afternoon, a 17-year-old girl was shot and killed by a man riding a bicycle in broad daylight in Little Village.
Hours following the shootings, the faith community of Saint Sabina Catholic Church held its Friday night Peace Walk in Auburn Gresham, calling for an end to shooting deaths and rampant gun violence.
"Five people shot last night, two killed. A policeman this morning, 17-year-old girl this afternoon, three o'clock. It's a madness. If we're waiting for something to come down to fix this crazy," said Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of Saint Sabina Catholic Church.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
To do its part, the Saint Sabina community organizes a gun buyback program.
"We take...it of the streets, because people need to see something out of the streets besides shooting. And fighting. Our presence out there is important," Pfleger said.
Additional Chicago Police Department resources are focused on the city's West and South sides this holiday weekend, which account for more than half of the city's violence, according to CPD Supt. David Brown.
"More officers on foot patrols, on bikes, CTA, beaches and special events," he said. "We've ensured we have enough officers where we need them most."
Lightfoot met with local leaders at Navy Pier Friday, emphasizing the importance of safety this holiday weekend.
"Its our highest priority to safeguard everyone throughout neighborhoods and downtown area," the mayor said.
Speaking at a news conference, Brown discouraged people from shooting guns off to celebrate Independence Day, offering a reminder that bullets falling back down can cause injury and even death.