The sounds of gunshots and sirens echoed through Chicago over a violent Father’s Day weekend, as shootings across the city left nine people dead and more than 60 wounded. This included the shooting death of 3-year-old Mekhi James who was riding in the back seat of his father’s car on Saturday evening when someone opened fire at his father’s car as they traveled through the city’s Austin neighborhood, according to Chicago police records and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Two teenagers were also killed, shot multiple times, after walking to a nearby store for candy. They were in an ally returning to their backyard, according to Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown, both teenagers died after being transported to the University of Chicago hospital.
The older boy was identified as Jasean Francis. The younger boy has not been identified. The older boy was shot in the back, chest, and left hand, while the younger boy was shot in the back and left flank, police said.
Brown also said at a news conference that “Children in Chicago should not have to worry about walking just blocks from home to buy candy and never returning.”
Brown also said Chicago Police recovered 77 guns and made 43 gun arrests over the weekend and have confiscated 4,468 guns this year in an effort to curb the violence. He said there are too many violent offenders who are not in jail.
“We need violent felons to stay in jail longer,” Brown said. “We need improvements to the home monitoring system. When asked what he felt the issues were that lead to the violent weekend all over the city, Brown answered with three things: “Gangs, guns and drugs.”