A rash of shootings in Chicago and Atlanta vitiated during the weekend and left the families of three children grieving over their deaths.
At least 72 people were shot in Chicago since early Friday morning 15 fatally including a 7-year-old girl who was visiting her grandmother on the holiday, according to police.
“When families should be celebrating, having a good time, spending time together, a 7-year-old girl was taken from us,” Chief of Detectives Fred Waller of the Chicago Police Department said at a news conference. “A 7-year-old girl who was here visiting her grandmother, visiting her family, and now she’s gone.”
The shooting unfolded around 7 p.m. on Saturday as the girl, identified by authorities as Natalie Wallace, was playing with other children and family in front of her grandmother’s house in the Austin neighborhood on the west side of Chicago, Waller said. Several men arrived in a light-colored car, got out and began firing in the direction of Natalie and her relatives, Waller said.
The little girl was hit in the forehead by a bullet.
She was taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County, where she was pronounced dead.
“It was a family gathering, so there were many kids,” Waller said. “There were kids riding on bicycles enjoying the Fourth of July, as they have should have been, and now this child is gone.”
No arrests have been made in the killing.
“Tonight, a 7-year-old girl in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote on Twitter Saturday night.
Hours later, a 14-year-old boy was among four people shot to death at a large holiday gathering in the Englewood neighborhood on the south side of the city, police said. The child, whose name has not been released, was shot in the back and then taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to police.
Police said the shooting happened around 11:35 p.m. when four men walked up to the gathering and opened fire. Four other people were wounded in the incident, including an 11-year-old boy who was shot in the leg and ankle and a 15-year-old boy who was shot in the abdomen, according to police.
At some point during the confrontation, shots were fired and both victims were struck,” police said in a statement, adding that both victims were in stable condition at Grady Memorial Hospital In Atlanta.
Police officials said detectives were working Sunday to sort out the circumstances of the shooting and identify suspects.
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