Even a block party was not safe from the violence.
At least 41 people were shot in Chicago from 11 a.m. Saturday, August 4, 2018, through Sunday morning, four fatally. Many of those injured were treated at Stroger Hospital.
Starting about midnight Saturday, at least 40 people were shot citywide, four fatally, in a period of less than seven hours as gunmen targeted groups at a block party, after a funeral, on a front porch and in other gatherings, according to authorities.
The bloody toll comes as tens of thousands of concertgoers converged downtown for Lollapalooza, which drew heightened security and a large police presence following the country’s deadliest mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival last year.
In contrast to the joyous scene downtown, the brunt of the violence early Sunday was felt on the West Side, where 25 people were shot in separate attacks between midnight and 6:50 a.m., according to police figures.
The largest shooting, which injured eight people, happened in the South Side’s Gresham neighborhood as a group, including a 14-year-old girl, was standing in a courtyard just before 12:40 a.m.
The crowd had gathered after attending a funeral repast, said Fred Waller, Chicago police chief of patrol.
During a Sunday news conference, Waller voiced frustration at gang members whom he blamed for taking advantage of large summer crowds to use as cover to take revenge.
The gang members do not fear repercussions from the law, Waller said.
“They take advantage of that opportunity and they shoot into a crowd, no matter who they hit,” Waller said.
Even a block party was not safe from the violence.
At 16th Street and Avers Avenue, people in lime green T-shirts from an annual block party in the West Side’s Lawndale neighborhood gathered on sidewalks and in streets after a shooting there around midnight. Crime scene tape crossed 16th Street east of Springfield Avenue and stretched far down the block past Penn Elementary School on the south side of 16th.
There, a 13-year-old boy was shot twice in the right arm. A car drove up to the gathering and two people got out and opened fire into the crowd, hitting two more teenagers and a 25-year-old man.
“If they shoot you, they don’t even run,” said one man watching police work the scene. “They just walk away, they ain’t trying to run.”
The youngest person hurt was an 11-year-old boy shot in the left leg on the West Side — also in the Lawndale neighborhood. He was on the sidewalk with five other people, including a 14-year-old boy, when two men came up to them and started shooting, police said.
Although investigations were just getting underway, Waller said many of the shootings appeared to be targeted attacks.
Police also noted that many of the shootings were in four police districts, including the West Side’s Harrison, Ogden and Austin police districts, that have struggled with violent crime this year.
Waller said police were sticking with their strategy that targets illegal guns, and prior to this weekend’s surge, they credited it with declines in homicides and shootings from last year.
More than 5,500 illegal guns have been confiscated on the street this year. Police are planning coordinated enforcement that will target gangs and individuals they believe are driving violence, while police also seek to thwart retaliatory attacks.
“I promise this city, we won’t be defeated,” Waller said. “We won’t be overrun by that small element that’s committing these reckless acts.”
The level of violence on Sunday made it difficult for police and hospitals to keep track.
Resources at local hospitals were taxed as the wounded and their families poured in. Access to Stroger Hospital was tightened. At one point, more than 200 people had converged on the hospital. Mount Sinai Hospital had to stop accepting new emergency cases for a while.
Earlier Sunday, police said there were 47 people shot, five killed between 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. Later in the day, however, police counted 34 shooting victims and five homicides in the same 24-hour period
About 15 of those shot were in their teens.
In the attack in Gresham, seven of those shot were 21 or younger.
During one 2½-hour early morning period, 25 people were shot in five multiple-injury shootings, police said.
One of the dead was 17-year-old Jahnae Patterson, who was shot in the face.
Sunday evening more than two dozen relatives of Patterson, a Manley Career Academy High School senior, sobbed outside her family’s brown brick two-flat in the city’s West Garfield Park neighborhood.
Friends and family members hung five poster boards on a fence outside the home with photos of the young woman.
Patterson’s family said she and a friend had gone to a block party and were walking to use a bathroom when they encountered two young men who engaged in a shootout.
“My baby just left the house. Twenty minutes later, I get a call saying my baby got shot,” Patterson’s mother, Tanika Humphries, said.
The fifth of nine children and the first girl in the family, Patterson had her entire life ahead of her, her mother said.
“My baby did not deserve this,” she said. “My baby wasn’t the type to hang out. She was in school. She worked. She did everything she was supposed to do as a teenager. And then coward (expletive) took it all away from us.”
Family and friends attend a vigil for Jahnae Patterson, 17, who was killed after being shot in the face earlier in the morning on Aug. 5, 2018, in the 4200 block of West Wilcox Street in Chicago.
Humphries said her daughter was born with health problems, but survived to be a beautiful and vital young woman, beloved by her young nieces and nephews, as well as her friends.
“I’m trying to be strong, but I can’t,” Humphries said as she broke down and was surrounded by relatives. “I can’t.”
Earlier Sunday, people congregated at Mount Sinai Hospital, leaning against cars and embracing on the sidewalk. Yellow crime scene tape encircled two cars outside the emergency room, a white sedan and a black one that had its front crumpled and windshield cracked.
Dozens of others gathered outside Stroger Hospital, clustered in small groups in the parking lot.
Only immediate family members of victims were allowed inside, according to police. Families walked up to the entrance, guarded by police.
Octavia White said she went to Stroger to see her daughter, who she said was among those shot in the 4700 block of West Gladys Avenue in West Garfield Park.
“I thank God it wasn’t her time,” White said as she walked to the bus stop. “I’ll be back here when she wakes up.”
As the sun beat down during daytime Sunday, groups of family and friends remained stationed outside the hospital.
Ald. Walter Burnett, 27th, stopped by to speak with the families. Burnett said the shootings affect whole families and entire communities, as evidenced by the crowd outside Stroger.
“You have young kids crying, older people crying, it’s just so heartbreaking,” Burnett said. “So we try to give them some comfort, pray for them, and also at the same time try to encourage the young adult men not to try to get revenge.”
Burnett said it’s up to the neighborhoods to stop the violence. He talked about growing up in the former Cabrini-Green housing project.
“It was the mothers, it was the preachers, it was people in the neighborhood who stopped the wars in Cabrini-Green,” he said. “It wasn’t the police.”
Asked what Chicago police can expect as far as outside governmental help, Waller said: “I’m not a politician. All I know is the boots on the ground are trying as hard as they can to be accountable for what’s going on. We’re moving people to different places in these different (police) districts. Some of the areas that we had covered weren’t, we hadn’t had violence — now we have violence.
“But as far as anybody coming to help us, this is something we’re going to have to do on our own,” he said.
Activist Eric Russell, an organizer of the anti-violence protest Thursday that shut down Lake Shore Drive, also spoke outside of the hospital.
“This is the reason why we march,” he said.
Russell went on to harshly criticize Mayor Rahm Emanuel for not doing enough to address gun violence.
“Our people are hurting over there,” Russell said. “Our people are left to languish in a vicious cycle of gun violence.”
Among the shootings since 11 a.m. Saturday through about 7 a.m. Sunday, police have released the following information:
In the most recent shooting, three men and two women were hit about 6:50 a.m. when a gunman came out of an alley and opened fire on the group in the first block of North LeClaire Avenue in the South Austin neighborhood.
A 32-year-old with four gunshot wounds, including two to the left side of his neck, was taken to Stroger, where he was pronounced dead, according to a police spokeswoman.
A 30-year-old man shot in the back of the head was taken to Stroger in critical condition.
A 27-year-old woman was taken to Stroger for gunshot wounds to her left arm and wrist, while a 21-year-old woman was treated and released from West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park for a graze wound.
A 34-year-old man showed up to Stroger with a gunshot wound in his lower left leg. He was in good condition.
No arrests had been made in the case, police said.
Just before 5:50 a.m. in West Pullman, a 33-year-old man was shot once in each of his legs in the 12100 block of South Bishop Street by someone last seen northbound on Bishop in a small silver Ford car, police said. He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in fair condition.
Around 4:15 a.m. in North Austin, four more people were shot in the 1600 block of North LeClaire Avenue, one fatally. A 19-year-old man, shot in the head, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
A 21-year-old man shot in the upper right thigh and a 37-year-old man hit in the right calf were taken to West Suburban and stabilized. An unknown male also shot went to Stroger Hospital, police said.
Around 2:50 a.m. in West Garfield Park, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the left leg in the 200 block of South Pulaski Road. He was taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition, police said.
Around 2:35 a.m. Sunday in Lawndale, two shooters approached a group standing on the sidewalk in the 1300 block of South Millard Avenue and opened fire, hitting six people. A 17-year-old girl shot in the face was pronounced dead on scene. A 14-year-old boy shot in his left leg was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and stabilized, as was an 11-year-old boy also shot in the left leg. A 21-year-old woman shot in the right arm and back was also taken to Sinai, where she was in critical condition. A 17-year-old boy shot in the right leg was taken to Rush University Medical Center and was stabilized. A 17-year-old girl shot in the right arm was taken to Stroger and stabilized.
About 10 minutes earlier in West Garfield Park, three women standing on a front porch were wounded when two groups of males started shooting at each other about 2:25 a.m. in the 4700 block of West Gladys Avenue, police said. A 29-year-old woman shot in the back and a 28-year-old woman shot in the left arm were taken to Stroger and stabilized. A 41-year-old woman shot in the right thigh was stabilized at Loretto Hospital.
Around 1:30 a.m. in Little Village, a 26-year-old man standing on the sidewalk in the 3200 block of South Keeler Avenue was hit in the right leg when someone in a white sedan fires shots, police said. He got himself to University of Illinois Chicago Medical Center and was stable.
Shortly before 1:05 a.m. in Back of the Yards, a 26-year-old man was killed in a shooting in the 4800 block of South Paulina Street. He was walking on the sidewalk with another person when someone in a white Jeep shot him in the abdomen and right ankle, police said. He was taken to Mount Sinai and later pronounced dead. The Jeep was found unoccupied and having been set on fire in the 4300 block of Paulina, police said.
Around 12:50 a.m. in West Humboldt Park, four people were injured in a drive-by shootout the 900 block of North Karlov Avenue. Two people fired shots from inside a black Cadillac, and three of the people hit shot back, causing the car to crash. The two in the car ran from the scene. A 43-year-old man walking down the street was shot in the thigh during the crossfire, police said. The other three people shot were a 30-year-old man hit in the right ankle and left calf; a 43-year-old man shot in the thigh; and a 29-year-old man grazed in the chest. All were taken to Stroger in good condition.
Just after midnight in Lawndale, four people were shot at a block party in the 1600 block of South Avers. Two people got out of a white Chevrolet Impala, fired into the crowd and left, police said. A 17-year-old girl grazed in the arm and knee, a 13-year-old boy shot twice in the right arm and a 16-year-old boy shot in the buttocks were stabilized at Mount Sinai. A 25-year-old man shot in the left leg was stabilized at Stroger.
Just before 12:40 a.m. in the Gresham neighborhood, eight people were shot in the 1300 block of West 76th Street. They were among a group standing in the courtyard of an apartment building when several others walked up and shot into the group, police said.
A 17-year-old girl shot in the knee was stabilized at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park. Another 17-year-old girl shot in the left leg was stabilized at Christ. An 18-year-old man shot in the buttocks was stabilized at University of Chicago Medical Center. A 19-year-old woman shot in the left hand was stabilized at Holy Cross Hospital. A 14-year-old girl shot in the left hand was also stabilized. A 21-year-old woman shot in the left leg was stabilized at University of Chicago. A 35-year-old man grazed in the head was stable at Holy Cross. A 19-year-old man shot in the left leg was taken to St. Bernard Hospital and stabilized.
Shortly after 12:20 a.m. in Lawndale, an 18-year-old man was shot multiple times in the 4100 block of West Cullerton Avenue. Witnesses were not cooperative, and the man was taken to Stroger under guard, police said.
Around 12:05 a.m. in Logan Square, a 20-year-old woman was shot in the abdomen while driving north in the 3700 block of West Altgeld Street. Someone in a red SUV shot her, police said. She was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in serious condition.
Shortly before 5:30 p.m. in the Burnside neighborhood, a 22-year-old man was shot in the left side of his forehead while on his bicycle in the 500 block of East 92nd Street. A dark sedan drove up alongside him and two people fired shots, then left the area, police said. The man was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center in good condition.
At 3:26 p.m., a 26-year-old man was shot in the left foot in the East Garfield Park neighborhood in the 3900 block of Madison Street. He was taken in good condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, police said.
About 1:35 p.m., a 25-year-old was shot in the left forearm and left thigh in the 600 block of East 76th Street in the Chatham neighborhood. He was taken the University of Chicago Medical Center, where his condition was stabilized, police said.
Shortly before noon, two workers, one in his 50s and another in his 40s, were in the 6800 block of Wood Street when two people began shooting at each other from across the street. Both men were hit in the crossfire, police said.
The older man was shot in the abdomen and taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The younger man went to the same hospital, but there was no information about the severity of his wounds.
Police did not specify what kind of work the men were doing at the time of the shooting.
About an hour earlier, a 38-year-old man was shot in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, Chicago police said.
That attack happened around 11 a.m. in the 5900 block of South Maplewood Avenue. The man was wounded in his lower body, police said.
He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, but no information was available about his condition or the circumstance leading up to the shooting.