Far from being a festive celebration of summer’s end, Labor Day weekend in Chicago was tragically marred by devastating gun violence that left 8 children shot, one fatally, as local ABC affiliate WLS reports.
In a period of a mere 12 hours spanning Saturday night through Sunday morning, six youngsters were shot in the city, bringing the tally of minors suffering gunshot wounds in Chicago this year to 280, 35 of whom ultimately succumbed to those injuries.
One of the saddest stories to emerge from the weekend bloodbath was that of four-year-old Mychal Moultry Jr., who was reportedly visiting his father’s home on the city’s south side when bullets flew through the window of the residence, fatally striking the boy, according to the Daily Mail.
The motive for the shooting that took Moultry’s life is still unclear, according to police, and community organizations and church leaders in the neighborhood where the killing occurred have raised over $9,000 to offer a reward for anyone providing information that leads to an arrest and conviction of those responsible.
Speaking to the broader epidemic of gun violence resulting in the deaths of children in his city, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown explained that in too many cases, kids are inadvertently caught in the line of fire between perpetrators and their targets.
“I’m not trying to vilify the victim, but these innocent young children should not be the byproducts of your criminal behavior,” said Brown.
The clearly exasperated local official continued, “This is directly to the offenders who are being targeted: You know the life you lead, you know that you’re being targeted, or that you’ve done something to cause this retribution from some rival gang or some rival person. Why are you continuing to be around young people, our children?”
Brown further noted that it is rarely the case that children themselves are the targets of gun violence, but rather that “it’s always some other offender, gang member, criminal network, beef,” that results in an adult being targeted, leaving kids to be “shot as innocent bystanders.”
Chicago is currently on pace to set a 25-year record for the number of murders seen in a single year, and though in the wake of the weekend’s devastation, Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot pledged to announce new strategies for tackling the unceasing scourge of gun violence, she has yet to provide any specifics to the desperate population of a city decimated by far too many senseless deaths.