A violent weekend of shootings in Chicago has left at least 11 people dead and 70 wounded.At least 11 people were shot dead and about 70 wounded in a weekend burst of violence in Chicago that instantly became a political issue when President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, blamed the carnage on longtime Democratic rule in the city.
Police on Monday attributed the dozens of shootings to gangs, the illegal flow of guns and sweltering August heat that drew more people outside.
The victims ranged in age from 11 to 63, according to police.
One teenage girl died after being shot in the face. A teenage boy was fatally shot riding a bike on Sunday afternoon. Other shootings took place at a block party and a funeral.
Even for Chicagoans all too accustomed to violence in parts of the city, the weekend stood out. By way of comparison, at least seven people were killed and 32 wounded during the long Memorial Day weekend, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“Our souls are burdened,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “It is unacceptable to happen in any neighbourhood of Chicago. We are a better city.”
Echoing comments that Trump himself has made repeatedly about Chicago, Giuliani blamed Emanuel – President Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff – and decades of “one party Democratic rule” in a series of tweets on Sunday and Monday.
The former New York mayor also tweeted his support for Chicago mayoral candidate and former Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, referring to him as “Jerry” and calling him a “policing genius.”
McCarthy plans to run next February against Emanuel, who fired McCarthy in 2015 after the release of dashcam video showing a white police officer kill a black teenager by shooting him 16 times.
Misspelling Emanuel’s last name, Giuliani tweeted: “He can do a lot better than Mayor Emmanuel who is fiddling while Chicago burns.” Giuliani also falsely claimed that Chicago had “63 murders this weekend.”
Most of the shootings happened in poor neighbourhoods on the West and South Sides where gangs are entrenched, said Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, standing next to the mayor.