Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday expressed dismay at the outbreak of violence in the city in recent days, saying it is straining police resources and filling hospital space needed for patients suffering from the coronavirus.
Between Sunday and early Wednesday, there were 13 homicides, 11 caused by gun fire, and 25 non-fatal shooting victims, according to Chicago police. Seven were fatally shot and 21 wounded during a 24-hour period starting at midnight Monday and ending at the same time Tuesday.
“This violence has to stop. There are two pandemics that face Chicago — and only one of them is virus-induced,” interim police Superintendent Charlie Beck said.
Lightfoot said she has directed police to spare no expense or resource to bring the perpetrators of violence to justice. She noted investigators need the help of witnesses who may not trust the police or fear for their own safety.
“People know who the shooters are. You know who you are. These cowards cannot be given any shelter,” she said.
Beck added the dozens of officers pulled off the street to work crimes cannot enforce social distancing or provide security at health care venues or for citizens at large.