At least 12 people died from 27 shooting incidents on Christmas weekend in Chicago, which were all believed to be gang-related targeted attacks that have gripped the city in recent years.
The Chicago crime wave has not taken a holiday and according to police authorities, as reported in CNN, Police Superintend Eddie Johnson said that these attacks were carried out by gang members against their rivals. They may have taken advantage of the holidays to launch their attacks at a time when people often let their guard down to celebrate the season.
The majority of those killed in the crime wave have been linked with criminal gangs and had a history of criminal activities. Police also seized a total of 45 firearms during the Christmas weekend. A total of 50 people have been reportedly shot throughout the weekend and 38 sustained gunshot wounds ranging from minor injuries to those treated for critical wounds.
"The violence primarily occurred in areas with historical gang conflicts on the South and West sides of the city. We now know that the majority of these shootings and homicides were targeted attacks by gangs against potential rival gang members and groups who were at holiday gatherings," Johnson said.
One of the incidents in the crime wave involved a man who walked out from a dark alley in East Chatham and fired at people on a porch who were celebrating a party. Two brothers were killed and five others were wounded.
"These were deliberate and planned shootings by one gang against another. They were targeted knowing full well that individuals would be at the homes of family and friends celebrating the holidays. This was followed by several acts of retaliation," Johnson added.
The Chicago police also reported that there was an increase in crime activities this year from January 1 to December 25 compared to the same time period in 2015. This year, the police reported that there were 753 homicides and 3,495 shootings reported, while there have been 478 homicides and 2,393 shooting incidents back in 2015.
August 2016 had the highest number of homicide incidents in the city where there has been a total of 96 cases reported by the police. Many of the shootings involve rivalries in the illegal drugs trade and other criminal activities by the crime gangs in the city.
Police authorities are also calling on legislators to enact stringent laws on guns, particularly criminal liability and penalties for repeat offenders of gun-related violence.