No Holiday: Extended Independence Day Weekend in Chicago - 6 Killed, 63 Wounded

Nick Kangadis | July 8, 2019

It’s pretty sad that people automatically know that more people than usual will be shot in Chicago during an extended holiday weekend, but that’s the unfortunate reality of Chicago in 2019.

Over the long, four-day Independence Day weekend, 69 people were shot in the Chicagoland area, six of which died from their wounds. According to the Chicago Tribune, “Nearly half of the victims were shot over 18 hours from about noon Thursday to dawn Friday.”

Compared to the last holiday weekend during Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s tenure, Memorial Day weekend saw 43 people shot, with seven of those victims dying. Granted, that was a three-day weekend compared to this past weekend, but with one extra day, in comparison,  Independence Day weekend saw 26 more people shot.

The Tribune also gave a breakdown of past Independence Day weekends, while noting where the majority of shootings took place:

The Fourth is generally the most violent time in the city. The last two times the Fourth of July weekend lasted four days was in 2017, when more than 100 people were shot, 15 fatally, and in 2013, when at least 74 were shot and 12 of them died. In 2014, when the Fourth was on a Friday, at least 82 were shot, 14 fatally[…]

People were shot from the West Pullman neighborhood on the Far South Side to Austin on the West Side. No shootings were recorded on the North Side, but on the Near North Side, gunfire erupted in the Old Town neighborhood in the middle of the afternoon Saturday. A handful of people were shot on the Northwest Side as well, in neighborhoods including Logan Square and Belmont Central.

It could be that shootings escalate during Independence Day weekends because people shoot off fireworks — despite the vast majority of fireworks being illegal in Illinois — and carry out their shootings to make people think it was the fireworks making the sound.

Whatever their reasons, shootings in Chicago seem to be ramping up since Lightfoot took office, especially considering the Chicago Police Department (CPD) recently touted 2019 shootings numbers being at a “four-year low.”