By Stephanie K. Baer and Peter Nickeas
CHICAGO — At least 36 people were shot in Chicago, four of them fatally, in as many hours over the weekend, with more than half of the shootings occurring over a half-day period stretching into early Sunday.
Officers responded to at least 27 incidents, starting at 3:30 p.m. Friday in the West Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side involving an attack that left a 17-year-old girl dead and two other people wounded, police said. There were also fatal shootings in the South Shore neighborhood Friday night and the Washington Park neighborhood early Sunday, both on the South Side.
Late Sunday, police announced charges in one of the killings.
Chicago Police Department spokesman Adam Collins declined to comment on whether the weekend's temperatures — Saturday reached 80 degrees, the city's warmest day so far this year — contributed to the number of shootings, though criminologists have said that weather does play a role in violent crime.
"While the city continues to see reductions in crime and violence, there's obviously much more to be done, and we continue to be challenged by lax state and federal gun laws," Collins said, reiterating a position that police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has expressed when discussing the department's crime-fighting efforts.
"No one will rest until everyone in Chicago enjoys the same sense of safety," he said.
Shontell Brown, mother of the 17-year-old girl killed Friday, called the situation on the city's streets "an ongoing war," saying that her daughter Gakirah Barnes was not the first teen from the South Chicago neighborhood to die violently.
"This is something that has become all too normal to everybody, and it needs to stop," Brown said in a phone interview. "We need to come together as a community and just unite to get our children and our streets back."
Barnes, of the 8000 block of South South Shore Drive, was pronounced dead at 5:43 p.m. at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the Cook County medical examiner's office said. An autopsy done Saturday determined that she died of multiple gunshot wounds and her death was ruled a homicide, the office said.
Barnes was a distant cousin of 13-year-old Tyquan Tyler, who was shot to death in June 2012, but the two were close enough that Barnes referred to Tyquan as her brother.
Tyquan's "mother is related to me through marriage so we've kind of raised our kids together once her family married my family," Brown said.
Barnes has four siblings, two older brothers and a younger brother and sister, her mother said.
About two hours before she was fatally shot on a porch in the 6400 block of South Eberhart Avenue, Barnes was leaving home to meet up with friends at a barbecue, her mother said.
"I told her that I loved her and to be careful — which is something that I told her every day when she went out on the Chicago streets," Brown said.
Nearly 34 hours later, a 20-year-old man was fatally shot outside a home in the 3000 block of West 53rd Place in the Gage Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side. He was identified by the Cook County medical examiner's office as Joshua Martinez, of the 4900 block of South Karlov Avenue.
Shards of glass from the home's front door littered the steps early Sunday morning. Martinez's body lay facedown on a sidewalk in front, covered by a white sheet, his feet resting on the bottom steps of the bungalow, a home that is common to Gage Park.
Police said Sunday night that a 17-year boy has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing around 1 a.m. that day, noting it stemmed from an argument during which the suspect retrieved a handgun from his residence and shot Martinez several times.
An hour and a half later, two people were shot in the 6000 block of South Indiana Avenue in Washington Park, police said. A 32-year-old man was hit in the chest and died at Stroger Hospital. A 27-year-old woman was shot in the leg and also was taken to Stroger.
The medical examiner's office identified the man as Corey Brownlee, of the same block where he was shot. He was pronounced dead at 3:26 a.m.
Friday's second fatal shooting occurred on the porch of a frame home in the 6800 block of South Crandon Avenue.
Shannon Mack, 34, of the same block, was pronounced dead at 10:45 p.m. An autopsy determined that he died of multiple gunshot wounds, and his death was ruled a homicide.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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