While the rest of the nation enjoyed firework displays in celebration of Independence Day, the streets of Chicago echoed with the sounds of gunfire. Over the Fourth of July weekend, fifteen people were killed and 64 others wounded due to gang violence. Among the casualties were a fourteen year-old boy and seven year-old girl.
The fourteen year-old, identified as Vernado Jones, was with a group of friends in Englewood when four males approached the group and opened fire. Vernado was struck in the back and pronounced dead at Chicago's Comer Children’s Hospital. Three other males were killed during the incident, although their ages remain unknown.
In the 100 block of North Latrobe, seven year-old Natalia Wallace was relaxing at a Fourth of July celebration when three men exited a nearby vehicle and began shooting towards the party goers. A bullet passed through Natalia's forehead, instantly killing her.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, to the agitation of many constituents, simply released a tweet decrying the killings. Apparently, the deaths of two children didn't warrant a press conference.
Crime statistics from the Chicago Police Department indicate that as of June 15, 2020, 254 homicides had taken place in the city limits. In 2019, that number stood at 238, and in 2018, 243.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Army, Department of Defense, or the United States Government.