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4 killed, 43 wounded in Chicago weekend shootings

By
Darryl Coote

Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The Chicago Police Department said it was investigating several shootings over the weekend that left at least four people dead and 43 wounded.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson said there were three separate shootings Sunday, resulting in at least 17 people shot.

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The first incident happened at around 1 a.m. Sunday when a group of people opened fire at Douglas Park from a Camaro, he said.

Seven people were shot, including a 21-year old man who was struck in the groin and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition.

"We have multiple types of ballistics from this particular incident and believe several of our victims returned fire, possibly four or five different people shooting at one time," Johnson said Sunday during a press conference.

The second shooting occurred at around 2 a.m. a few blocks away, resulting in two women being shot, he said.

And at about 3:40 a.m. in Lawndale eight people were shot, including Demetrius Flowers, 33, who died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

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The number of gun-related injuries had Mount Sinai Hospital at capacity Sunday morning, forcing it to go "on bypass," which means it stopped accepting ambulances, diverting them to other hospitals, said Roberta Rakove, senior vice president for external affairs at the hospital.

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Police recovered seven firearms from Saturday night into Sunday morning at two locations, indicating that officers were in the right locations to thwart shootings, "but unfortunately it didn't seem to deter anyone from engaging in this type of behavior," Johnson said.

Sunday's incidents follow several shootings in the city on Saturday and Friday that resulted in several injured and at least three people killed, police said.

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The violence in Chicago comes on a weekend that saw mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday and Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday, resulting in at least 30 people killed and dozens injured.

Johnson said he didn't want to get political but something needs to be done to stem gun violence in the country.

"You have to stop and ask yourself: What more will it take before we get a handle on what's going on, not just in Chicago but across the country?" he said. "From police departments to the court systems to prosecutors to legislators, we have to come together and figure out more common-sense solutions to these problems because, clearly, too many of our citizens are being shot and killed.

"We really have the power to do something about it, I just don't know if we have the will to do it," he said.

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