At least 18 people were shot across Chicago, two of them fatally, in the first night of Fourth of July weekend violence, nearly doubling the carnage that kicked off the holiday last year.
Ten people were shot to open the long weekend in 2016, and it ended with 66 people shot — a total that actually stoked cautious optimism with the lowest death toll for the July 4 weekend in nearly a decade.
On Saturday, Chicago Police touted a 14 percent decline in shootings this year compared to the first six months of 2016, and they hope to tamp down the holiday weekend violence with the help of a new gun violence strike force that includes ATF agents.
At least 1,758 people have been shot in the city this year, 309 of them fatally, according to data maintained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
The latest killings happened about 8:45 p.m. on Friday in Englewood on the South Side. Two men, ages 30 and 50, were on a porch in the 5700 block of South Wells when two gunmen walked up and opened fire. Both were shot in the legs and chest. The older man died at the scene, and the younger died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to police, who on Saturday morning were questioning two possible suspects.
In the most recent shooting, a gunman opened fire on a 23-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man at a West Town party about 5 a.m. on Saturday in the 2700 block of West Washington. She was shot in the leg, and he was hit in the thigh, foot and arm, police said. They were in good condition at Stroger Hospital.
A little over two hours before that, a 13-year-old boy was shot in the buttocks in Gage Park’s 5500 block of South Talman, police said. He was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital.
Thirteen more people were wounded in separate shootings between 4:15 p.m. Friday and 2:30 a.m. Saturday.