Despite the presence of more Chicago police officers on the streets this weekend, it was another violent weekend in the Windy City, with at least 10 people killed and at least 54 people shot over the Labor Day holiday. Before the weekend even began, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown moved to ensure that more cops would be patrolling high crime neighborhoods by cancelling days off and extending the standard 8-hour shift to 12-hours on the street.
Unfortunately, the extra police had to deal with more shootings than last year’s Labor Day weekend, when there were 41 shootings with 7 fatalities. According to ABC 7 in Chicago, at least one of the shooting incidents appears to have involved a concealed carry licensee acting in self-defense.
One man was shot to death and three others wounded during a shootout Monday in Stony Island Park on the South Side.
Two men, 21 and 30, were traveling northbound in a red Nissan Altima in the 8400 block of South Cregier Avenue when two 18-year-old men on foot fired shots, Chicago police said.
One man in the backseat of the Nissan returned gunfire, striking both gunmen, police said.
The injured men in the Nissan were taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, police said. The 21-year-old was shot in the neck and was pronounced dead, and the older man was listed in good condition with a gunshot wound to the thigh.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office hasn’t released details about the fatality.
One of the men who had been shooting at the car was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the thigh, police said. The other 18-year-old alleged gunman was taken to Trinity Hospital in good condition with a gunshot wound to the forearm.
Both 18-year-olds are being questioned by investigators, police said. The man who returned shots has a valid conceal carry license.
There was also an officer-involved shooting in the city early Saturday morning, when two officers shot and killed a man with a large knife who attempted to stab an officer. Police responded to reports of a stabbing near a park on the city’s southwest side and were able to treat a victim who suffered a minor wound to his hand. Officers found the suspect nearby, but the man fought with officers as they tried to take him into custody.
Preliminary information from the Civilian Office Police Accountability shows officers attempted to apprehend the man, who was still armed with the knife, when a struggle ensued and officers tased him.
The man continued to attack officers with the knife, resulting in two officers discharging their firearms, according to COPA.
The man suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the body and was pronounced dead on the scene a short time later, police said.
The officers were wearing body cameras, according to COPA.
In addition to the deployment of more officers in Chicago, federal authorities are still in the city as part of Operation LeGend, which has so far led to the arrest of more than 100 people on federal drug and firearm charges.
“The mission of Operation Legend is clear: reduce violent crime and save lives,” U.S. Attorney John Lausch, Jr. said in a statement.
Most recently, a man was charged with a gun offense for allegedly “straw purchasing” several guns in Indiana on behalf of a convicted felon in Chicago.
In August, a man was arrested on a federal robbery charge for allegedly robbing a USPS delivery truck.
In another case, a man was indicted on carjacking charges for stealing a vehicle from two women at gunpoint in Chicago, prosecutors said. The man allegedly fired a handgun during the carjacking.
The federal indictments should send a clear message to the criminal element in Chicago that, even if the Cook County prosecutor is dropping felony charges left and right, there will be consequences for turning neighborhood streets into shooting galleries.
Unfortunately for the city’s law-abiding citizens hoping to purchase or carry a firearm in self-defense, the Illinois State Police are still dealing with a backlog of more than 140,000 applications for a Firearms Owner ID card, which means that applicants are having to wait for months before receiving their state-issued permission slip to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
As crime continues to spiral upwards in Chicago, the inability or unwillingness of the State Police to process FOID cards and concealed carry licenses in a timely manner is only going to lead to more people choosing to carry a gun illegally for self-defense. If state officials like Gov. J.B. Pritzker really want to help cut down on violent crime, they should be ensuring that the bureaucracy isn’t standing in the way of law-abiding residents protecting themselves and their loved ones.