15 Shot in Chicago as July 4th Weekend Starts

At least two teens were injured in a surge of violence that began Thursday.

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Police collect evidence at the scene of a shooting June 23, 2013, in Chicago.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

At least 15 people, including two teens, were shot in Chicago as the Fourth of July holiday weekend began, according to NBC Chicago

The first fatality among the shootings took place shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on the city’s West Side in what police suspect was a drug deal gone bad, the report says. “Four masked men were seen firing guns, and stray bullets struck women sitting on a porch.”

A 21-year-old woman was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The second person, also 21, was shot in one arm, police said.

Separately Friday, a man was killed and another wounded in a shooting at a strip mall at 63rd Street and Damen Avenue, the report says. The men were standing outside a building when a black vehicle pulled up and someone inside fired, hitting both men, the report says. A 34-year-old man was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The other man, 35-years-old, was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County in critical condition, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Janel Sedevic.

Last year, city leaders faced heavy criticism when 12 men were killed and at least 60 other people were wounded in shootings throughout the city during the holiday weekend.

Reacting to the outbreak of violence during last year’s Fourth of July weekend, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in a statement at the time that “no shooting or murder is acceptable,” NBC Chicago reported last year.

“While to date we've had significantly fewer shootings and significantly fewer murders this year, there’s more work to be done and we won't rest until everyone in Chicago enjoys the same sense of safety,” McCarthy said last year in the statement, according to the television news site.

Read more at NBC.