Wednesday, February 22 was marked as the deadliest day in Chicago thus far in 2017. Thirteen people were shot on the South and West sides of Chicago, killing seven in total, according to police.
The fatalities ranged from a pregnant woman in her 20s to a 60-year-old man. Five of the seven homicides occurred within a two-hour window of gunfire on the South Side. The pregnant victim, Wilteeah Jones, 20, and her boyfriend Malik Bingham, 20, were gunned down around 8:15 p.m. Jones was nine months pregnant and the baby did not survive. This is the 21st time in the past 16 years that Chicago experienced that many homicides in a single day, per the Chicago Sun-Times.
President Trump spoke out via Twitter on February 23 stating, “Seven people shot and killed yesterday in Chicago. What is going on there - totally out of control. Chicago needs help!”
This is not the first time President Trump has addressed the issues of gun violence in Chicago.
Nearly a month ago, Trump threatened to “send in the Feds” to Chicago if the city could not “fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on.” Two weeks later, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives dispatched 20 agents to Chicago.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel traveled to Washington in early February to meet with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and discuss potential help the city may receive from the Trump Administration in an effort to combat Chicago gun violence.
When Emanuel returned, he told reporters that the purpose of his trip “was to go out and be very specific that . . . this is what we mean by federal help: From law enforcement cooperation and participation to investing in kids to prosecuting gun crimes to economic development in our neighborhoods.”
Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson explained, “We’ve made requests to the White House and the Justice Department for them to support our work - from increasing federal gun prosecution to more FBI, DEA and ATF agents to more funding for mentoring, job training anymore.”
The fatal shootings on Wednesday all occurred within eight police districts, mostly on the South Side. Among those eight, no recorded shootings occurred in Harrison or Englewood – traditionally two of the most violent districts in the city – where police departments have recently announced plans to double the number of ShotSpotter cameras in the area.
Since January 1, 98 homicides have been recorded in Chicago while nearly 400 have been wounded in shootings.