A 7-year-old girl playing with children in Chicago, an 8-year-old Atlanta girl riding with her mother and an 11-year-old boy running to get a phone charger in Washington were among the victims of gun violence over the July 4 weekend.
The violence comes amid an uptick in shootings and homicides in American cities.
The girl in Chicago was visiting her grandmother in the Austin neighborhood Saturday evening, playing with other children when a car pulled up, three people got out and they opened fire on a group of people, the Chicago Police Department said.
The 7-year-old was shot in the head and died at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago police spokeswoman Jessica Rocco said. A 32-year-old was wounded, she said.
“You got to be tired of this,” CPD Chief of Operations Fred Waller said. “Chicago’s heart gets broken again. Austin’s heart gets broken again. We’ve got to be tired of this because, damnit, I’m tired of this.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, in a series of tweets, lamented another child “whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun.” She asked anyone with information to come forward.
“As a city we must wrap our arms around our youth so they understand there’s a future for them that isn’t wrapped up in gun violence,” she tweeted.
There are no additional details on the suspects, Rocco said.
A separate Chicago shooting left a 14-year-old dead, police said.
Shootings across US
In the nation’s capital, 11-year-old Davon McNeal was killed Saturday night after a group of five young males began shooting in southeast Washington, Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Police said.
Davon was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. The shooting occurred around 9:30 p.m., DC Police Chief Peter Newsham said.
Davon’s grandfather told CNN his grandson was shot in the head moments after he and his mother stopped into a neighborhood in DC to visit.
John Ayala — who founded the DC chapter of the Guardian Angels and has been fighting gun violence for many years — said his grandson jumped out of the car to run into his aunt’s house to grab a phone charger.
His mother, sitting in the car, heard gunshots and saw her son duck. She thought he was trying to dodge the bullets, Ayala said, but then noticed he wasn’t moving and found he’d been shot in the head.
‘Right here in our own backyard’
Ayala said he got word and raced to the hospital.
“His mom was just crying, ‘My baby! They took my baby!’” he said.
“The thing that’s so bad is, we were all supposed to be out of town on a trip,” Ayala said. “But we decided to cancel it because the Covid cases were so bad. He was supposed to be gone — but we canceled the trip to be safe — and he gets shot and killed right here in our own backyard.”
Bowser announced a $25,000 reward Sunday for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.
“The public’s help is dire in bringing to justice the perpetrators of the horrendous killing of 11-year old Davon McNeal,” the mayor said in a tweet announcing the reward.
The reason for the shooting is unknown. Bowser said five males were seen leaving the scene in a black sedan.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also asked that people come forward with information after an 8-year-old girl was shot Saturday night near the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed last month.
“I am asking you to please honor this baby’s life. Please, if you know who did this, please turn them in,” Bottoms said at a news conference Sunday.
“We’re fighting the enemy within when we are shooting each other up in our streets,” the mayor said. “You shot and killed a baby. And it wasn’t one shooter, there was at least two shooters,” she said.
Secoriea Turner was riding in a vehicle with her mother and an adult friend downtown, according to police. The driver was attempting to enter a parking lot where a group of people had illegally placed barricades, and someone in the group opened fire on the vehicle, according to police, striking Turner.
Bottoms said she wants people to have the same passion for ending community violence that they have for police reform.
“We’ve had over 75 shootings in the city over the past several weeks,” Bottoms said. “You can’t blame that on APD (Atlanta Police Department).”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp offered his condolences to Secoriea’s family Sunday, posting on Twitter: “Our hearts absolutely break for this precious life senselessly taken. Marty, the girls, and I are praying for the Lord’s comfort over Secoriea’s family and loved ones in the face of this tragedy.”
Police are offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the girl’s killers.
Alabama mall shooting suspect arrested
In Alabama, police arrested a suspect in the shooting death of an 8-year-old at the Riverchase Galleria mall in Hoover, south of Birmingham, on Friday, according to the Hoover Police Department.
Montez Moses Miracle Coleman, 22, of Birmingham, was arrested in the death of Royta De’Marco Giles, 8, police said in a news release. He was being held Sunday in the Jefferson County Jail on one charge of murder and three counts of assault, police said.
CNN has not been able to determine whether Coleman has legal representation.
Coleman was taken into custody Friday after officers responded to reports of a man running through a hotel parking deck with a firearm.
Police said Coleman had gotten into an argument with a group of men and they exchanged fire.
The child and three others who were hurt are believed to have been “innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire,” the release said.
Police said they are seeking anyone else who may have been involved.
NYPD officers injured
Gun violence also shook New York over the holiday weekend, with at least 34 shooting incidents affecting 51 victims, according to NYPD statistics.
In one incident, two officers were injured when a bullet struck the front windshield of a marked radio patrol vehicle in the Bronx just before midnight July 4, the NYPD said.
Both were treated for minor injuries. An NYPD source said it was not known whether the bullet was stray or intentionally fired and they are still trying to identify the shooter.
Chief Terence Monahan tweeted a photo of the bullet in the windshield saying: “Today, we are extremely fortunate to not be mourning the loss of hero cops in the Bronx — who could’ve been killed last night when their police car was struck by gunfire. Despite these dangers, officers are out there on behalf of every NYer. They’re all owed a debt of gratitude.”
Teen, three others killed in Englewood
In Chicago, another late Saturday shooting in the South Side neighborhood of Englewood left four men dead and four more people injured.
The shooting happened about 11:35 p.m., police said.
The victims were attending a large street gathering when “approximately four males” walked up and began shooting, police said. The suspects fled the scene.
Two people were pronounced dead at the scene, and a third victim who had gunshot wounds to his chest and back died at the University of Chicago Medical Center. A fourth gunshot victim, a 14-year-old, was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where he later died.
The injured victims, according to police, include:
- An 11-year-old who was grazed on the leg and ankle. He is in fair condition at Comer.
- A 15-year-old who was shot in the stomach and is also in fair condition at Comer.
- A 29-year-old man who was shot in the foot and is in fair condition at St. Bernard Hospital.
- A 35-year-old who was shot in the hip, leg, arm and wrist. He is in critical condition at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.
There are no suspects in custody.
According to CNN affiliate WLS, as of early Sunday, 67 people had been shot in Chicago over the weekend, 13 of them fatally.
Chicago often sees more shootings in the summer months, an issue Lightfoot has pledged to address. This is her second summer at the city’s helm. Last weekend, more than 60 people were shot — 14 of them fatally — in 49 shooting incidents in the city.
The Windy City is one of numerous locales — along with Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Los Angeles and New York — seeing an increase in homicide rates this year.
In North Lawndale early Sunday, someone in a white vehicle opened fire on a group lighting fireworks, WLS reported. Five people were injured, and a 20-year-old woman died at Mount Sinai, police told the station.
Also early Sunday, a 10-year-old suffered a bullet graze wound and a 48-year-old woman suffered gunshot wounds to both legs while standing in the hallway of an apartment building, WLS reported.
Late Saturday, a 15-year-old boy was among three people shot in Little Village on the southwest side of the city, the station reported.
Earlier that day, a half dozen assailants approached a group before dawn, fatally shooting a woman in the head and injuring two men on South Lake Shore Drive, police told WLS.
A 31-year-old man was also fatally shot Saturday morning, while sitting in a parked vehicle in Englewood, police told the station.
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