CHICAGO — Gun violence over the Labor Day weekend left seven people dead and another 34 wounded in Chicago on the South and West Sides, according to police.
Two teenagers were among the weekend’s shooting fatalities, WLS-TV reports. They include 15-year-old Davantae Jackson, who was fatally shot early Sunday just steps from the home where he lived. The teen was supposed to be starting high school Tuesday.
Jackson’s sister, Alexis Jackson, says her brother’s assailants called him on his phone and asked him to come outside before opening fire.
A Saturday shooting left two men, ages 32 and 26, dead after they were shot on the front porch of a home on Chicago’s South Side. That shooting also wounded three other people.
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The weekend violence occurred as Chicago police added an extra 1,000 officers to patrols during the 3-day holiday weekend, down from an extra 1,400 officers last year.
The violence is up from Labor Day last year, when 27 people were shot, including four fatally. This year’s violence more closely resembles that of Labor Day 2017, when 42 people were shot, including seven fatally.
Other holiday weekends this summer witnessed similar spikes in gun violence. Over Fourth of July weekend, 68 people were shot, five of them fatally, and on Memorial Day weekend, 41 people were shot, seven fatally.
Following the Labor Day weekend of violence, Sen. Ted Cruz said in a tweet Monday that gun control “doesn’t work,” citing Chicago as an example.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded to the tweet Monday night, criticizing Republican inaction on gun legislation.
“60% of illegal firearms recovered in Chicago come from outside IL—mostly from states dominated by coward Republicans like you who refuse to enact commonsense gun legislation. Keep our name out of your mouth,” Lightfoot said in the tweet.
August shooting incidents are declining
August experienced its lowest number of murders and shootings since 2011, the CPD announced Monday in its monthly crime report. Shooting incidents were down 19% for August compared to the same month last year, and overall violent crime reported to the CPD in August fell 15% citywide compared to August 2018.
The CPD announced that it has recovered more than 7,500 guns this year, up 21% from this time last year.
Mayor Lightfoot and Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson also announced the launch of a new citywide GunStat Initiative last week.
“This collaborative effort is designed to track gun offenders from their arrest, prosecution, sentencing and ultimate release, in an effort to identify trends, strengths and address any weaknesses within the criminal justice system,” the CPD said.
The Associated Press contributed reporting.
Follow Grace Hauck on Twitter @grace_hauck.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chicago Labor Day shootings: 7 killed, 34 wounded on South, West Sides