At least 10 people were shot in Chicago in two separate incidents on Wednesday as violence continued its nightmare grip on the city.
"Mass shootings are becoming the norm," said the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a longtime crusader against gun violence, whose church is about a half-mile from one of the shootings.
"We’re burying dreams every week," he told the Chicago Sun Times. "And we’re less of a city because of who we’ve lost in this city. And I don’t see anything changing."
The latest shooting took place just after noon on Wednesday and resulted in five people being hit – four men and a woman. The newspaper said three were listed in critical condition as they were rushed to hospitals.
The five people had been talking near a food store in the Gresham neighborhood not far from Pfleger’s St Sabina’s church.
"It’s an area that’s known by a particular gang, and I think whoever it was, they’re sending a message to that area," Pfleger said. "And these people just happened to be sitting there and there was nobody else out there."
According to the Chicago Tribune, a silver sedan pulled up and three people got out and fired shots at the five people. The shooters fled a short time later.
Meanwhile, four women and a man were also shot as they stood outside in the Garfield Park neighborhood, The Associated Press reported. The incident occurred shortly after midnight on Wednesday.
"A group was standing outside when they were approached by an unidentified male … who produced a handgun and began shooting," police said in a statement. "The victims attempted to flee the scene once the shooting began."
The victims ranged in age from 18-34. Four of them were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Police said one of the victims was shot in the leg, but refused to go to a hospital.
The Chicago Sun-Times noted it was the fifth time this year there have been two mass shootings in the city in a single day.
And, citing data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, it said that over the last five years, Chicago has recorded the most mass shootings in the nation.
Last week, just hours after three undercover law enforcement officers were shot in Chicago, President Joe Biden visited with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot at an airport stop to discuss gun violence and federal support.
"During a greet with Mayor Lightfoot on the airport tarmac, President Biden expressed his personal support for the two ATF officials and the Chicago police officer who were shot," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
"He reiterated his commitment to working with the mayor and leaders in Chicago in the fight against gun violence and conveyed that the Department of Justice would soon be in touch about the strike force announced just a few weeks ago that will be working with cities like Chicago."
Jeffrey Rodack ✉
Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.
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