Labor Day violence: 13 dead, 50+ injured in wave of Chicago shootings

© Shannon Stapleton
As people across the US celebrated Labor Day, Chicago was rocked by multiple shootings which left at least 13 people dead and dozens injured over the long week-end. The Memorial day week-end this May saw 69 shootings with at least 6 of them fatal.

Monday evening saw the latest homicides when two men in their early twenties were fatally shot when a someone in a minivan opened fire at a group of people on sidewalk  in the Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side, according to Chicago Suntimes. Fifty two people were shot at during the week-end.

Two people were killed in a shooting at Ogden Park at around 7:20pm local time on Monday, as more than 100 people celebrated the national holiday there. Emergency crews were called to the scene, according to Chicago Fire Department Commander Walter Schroeder, as cited by the Chicago Tribune.

One of the victims, aged 47, was walking his dog when he was struck in the chest by bullets fired from a nearby vehicle, according to Chicago police spokeswoman Officer Michelle Tannehill. A second man was also shot in the chest while hanging out in the park. He began running when he heard gunshots.

The two victims were taken to Stroger Hospital, where they were both pronounced dead, according to Tannehill.

There was another shooting in the Windy City just 30 minutes prior, at around 6:50pm, on the 900 block of West 58th Street in the Englewood neighborhood. The incident began when someone inside a light-colored vehicle drove past a man and fired multiple shots, hitting the victim in the back, according to Chicago police spokesman Officer Kevin Quaid. The man was pronounced dead at St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center.

Earlier on Monday, a 44-year-old man was shot and killed while driving in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, after a group in a van began harassing him. The man tried to drive away, but one of the van's occupants opened fire and hit him in the head, neck, and back. He was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital. The victim struck several parked cars while attempting to flee, according to Tannehill.

A van matching the description of the one the shooters were driving later crashed on Western Avenue. Two men jumped out and attempted to flee, throwing a weapon in a clothing donation bin at a gas station. They were later taken into custody and a rifle was recovered, according to police.

Police were called to a separate incident at the 4500 block of South Whipple Street in the Brighton Park neighborhood at around 1:25pm, where they discovered the body of a 22-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his chest. The victim's roommates found his body lying in a driveway, according to Quaid.

At around 9:30am on Monday morning, officers were called to the 6800 block of South Emerald Avenue in Englewood neighborhood, where two men had been shot, police spokesman Officer Jose Estrada said. One of the men had been shot in the head and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The other man, 26, suffered a wound to the upper left shoulder and a graze wound to the head. He was taken to Stroger hospital in critical condition.

At around 6:20am, before many people had even woken up on the national holiday, an 80-year-old man was fatally shot in the face in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood. He had been standing outside when he and the assailant began talking. The assailant fired multiple shots, according to Tannehill.

Officers found the man lying on the ground unresponsive, spokeswoman Nicole Trainor said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. A suspect was arrested.

An unconfirmed report on Twitter, which cites a local police scanner, also said that five people had been shot in a separate shooting, two of which have since died. If true, it would bring the Labor Day toll to nine people killed and 10 people injured.

A string of non-fatal shootings also occurred in the city, beginning at 10am on Monday. A 30-year-old man was left critically wounded after being shot in the Austin neighborhood. The incident occurred when a dark van with two people pulled up to the man, and an assailant got out and began firing shots, according to preliminary reports. The victim was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital with a gunshot wound to the upper left shoulder.

Just hours later, at around 3:20pm, two people were shot in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, while standing on a sidewalk. A 27-year-old man was shot in the back and was in critical condition at Stroger Hospital. The second victim, a 23-year-old woman, was shot in the stomach and taken to the same hospital in serious condition.

An hour later, at around 4:35pm, a 19-year-old was shot in the Park Manor neighborhood after someone fired at him from a dark sedan. He was taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition.

At around 5:15pm, a 22-year-old man was shot in the Pilsen neighborhood when someone stepped into the street in front of the car he was driving, and began firing shots. He was taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition.

In yet another incident, an unknown assailant began shooting at an 18-year-old at around 6:40pm. He was shot in the right leg and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in good condition. A dog, however, was fatally shot in the incident.

Homicides in Chicago this year have risen to levels not seen since the 1990s, according to the Chicago Tribune. The month of August, which experienced 90 homicides, was the most the city has seen in a single month since June 1996.

With four months to go until the end of the year, homicides in 2016 have already reached almost 500, exceeding last year's total of 481, according to police data.