Chicago experienced a harrowing Independence Day weekend with 104 people shot, including 19 fatalities, and four mass shootings. The violence put a spotlight to the city’s ongoing struggle with gun violence and raised questions about the effectiveness of the administration’s public safety measures.

The weekend’s first mass shooting occurred around 6:15 a.m. on July 4 in the 7100 block of South Woodlawn. Gunmen from two vehicles opened fire on a home, killing two women and an 8-year-old boy, Bryson Orr, while critically injuring two other boys, ages 5 and 7. Deputy Mayor of Community Safety Garien Gatewood deflected questions about the administration’s public safety plan during a press conference held shortly after the shooting.

Blank 3000 x 2000 2
Family members Nakeeshia Strong, 46, Bryson Orr, 8, and Caprice Edwards, 24, lost their lives in a mass shooting in Greater Grand Crossing around 6:15 a.m.

Mayor Johnson issued a statement expressing condolences and committing to community support alongside the Chicago Police Department and other partners. However, he did not address the subsequent mass shootings.

The second mass shooting occurred early Friday on the Near West Side. Two gunmen exchanged fire in the 1300 block of West Hastings, injuring eight people aged 18 to 74. All survived the incident.

Another shootout early Friday left six people injured in the 100 block of South Menard. The victims, aged 15 to 25, also survived.

The fourth mass shooting happened around 3:26 a.m. Sunday in the 3700 block of South State. A group on the street engaged in a gunfight with a man in a passing truck, resulting in four injuries.

Overall, Chicago has seen 1,269 non-fatal shootings this year, slightly up from 1,225 last year, while homicides have decreased from 337 to 305.

In response to the mass shootings, Mayor Johnson’s office announced additional police presence over the holiday weekend and a community rally for support. The city will also host an emergency support event for residents at Fosco Park on Tuesday.

Despite the efforts, the recent surge in violence has left the city in grief, prompting calls for further action to ensure safety and support for affected communities.

Metropolitan Peace Initiatives’ director Vaughn Bryant commented, “It’s our city, and anything that is happening in our city as citizens, it’s our responsibility… You can’t complain that you don’t have businesses or things that are going on when we’re not keeping it safe.”

Chicago resident Raul Perez noted, “They got to stop the guns. You can’t go out at night… you’re afraid to go out at night because you’re gonna get shot or something.”

An emergency services assistance center will open Tuesday to support community members who survive the holiday weekend in Chicago.