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Senseless killings have recently taken the place of the news announcing how many have died from COVID-19 in Chicago. They dominate the headlines, giving the city a break from the realness of the pandemic, especially since Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the reopening on June 11, 2021.
Similar to the pandemic, the killings do not discriminate. Men, Women, young, old have been shot down in the streets and their homes. Some shooting victims who are taken to hospitals survive; some do not.
Saturday, June 19, around 9:15 p.m. CDT, a young couple was dragged from their car and shot in the middle of the street after a “minor” traffic accident on the West side of Chicago in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. The incident happened in the 3200 Block of West Division Street, hours after the end of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, and was captured on city cameras.
The couple was 24-year-old Gyovanny Arzuaga, who covered 23-year-old Yasmin Perez, his partner, with his body. Arzuaga died at the hospital, and Perez died days later. They were the parents of two children and had moved to Hanover Park for a “better life.” No one has been arrested.
Lightfoot called the killings were “horrific” and vowed to find those involved.
Monday, June 21, 67-year-old Patrick Earl of West Garfield was killed at 9:45 a.m. in the 1600 Block of South Kostner on the West Side of Chicago in North Lawndale. He was the victim of road rage.
Keshawn Jackson, who had two young children in the car as he argued with Earl, saying he had cut him off, said that the victim “needed to be taught a lesson.” According to the police, during the argument, he shot the 67-year-old once in the chest, killing him. Earl was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A passenger in the car with Earl described Jackson and the car he was driving. He was later arrested after police found a 9mm gun in his truck.
A 27-year-old man was killed Tuesday, and another wounded in a shooting in West Pullman on the Far South Side around 9 p.m. in the 100 block of East 118th Street. Someone fired shots at two men, striking them both. The 27-year-old was shot on the side of his body and pronounced dead at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. The other 50-year-old man was shot in the arm and taken to Roseland Community Hospital and is in stable condition.
One person was killed, and two others were wounded around 5:40 this morning in Wentworth Gardens on the South Side. They were outside when someone fired shots in the 3800 block of South Wentworth Avenue, according to Chicago police. The 24-year-old man was shot several times and died at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Since Friday, there were many shootings all over the City of Chicago, from Austin to Englewood and various neighborhoods in between.
North Lawndale has the second-highest number of killings so far this year. At 20, they are behind Austin, which, according to records of The Sun-Times, has experienced 26 killings.
In January of this year, Chicago west side minister, Rev. Marshall Hatch Sr. spoke on the spike in violence, saying that it is, sadly, not surprising. His church is located in Austin, a Chicago neighborhood hard hit by both poverty and the pandemic.
COVID has had a disproportionate impact, and people are increasingly desperate. And people, because of the concentration of poverty, tend to turn on each other.
Yale University Law Professor Tracey Meares says COVID-19 vaccines will help since the pandemic has prevented many anti-violence programs from operating. This means that some of the very things that have successfully prevented killings in the past just aren’t available until the COVID-19 vaccines become more widespread and the added daily stress posed by the virus diminishes.
In April 2020, Chicago interim police chief Charlie Beck stated in a news conference with Lightfoot.
There are two pandemics in Chicago and only one is virus-induced.
Written by Brenda Robinson
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
KTLA5: Young Couple Brutally Ambushed, Fatally Shot In Caught-On-Video Attack After Minor Crash In Chicago
Chicago SunTimes: Mother Of 2 Dies After Brazen Humboldt Park Shooting That Killed Boyfriend: ‘They Spent Years Together, They Made A Family Together; by Tom Schuba
Chicago Sun-Times: Man Accused In Road Rage Murder Said Victim ‘needed to be taught a lesson,’ Prosecutors say; by David Struett and Matthew Hendrickson
FOX32: 1 Killed, 24 Wounded In Shootings In Chicago Wednesday — Nearly Half The Victims Shot In Just 3 Attacks
NPR: Massive 1-Year Rise In Homicide Rates Collided With The Pandemic In 2020; by Cheryl Corley
Featured Image Courtesy of Jeff Snyder’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of JDW’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Renzo Borgatti’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License