A 7-year-old boy who was one of seven people shot to death in Chicago over the holiday weekend was the son of a gang leader with a lengthy arrest record, and police say the man’s refusal to cooperate with detectives highlights the city’s ongoing challenge to curb gang-related violence.
During the Fourth of July weekend, 48 people were wounded by gunfire in 34 separate incidents in Chicago. Seven homicides also were reported during the same three-day period last year, and this year’s total in the nation’s third-largest city nearly matched the combined numbers for New York (one), Los Angeles (three) and Houston (five) — the other cities that rank in the top four in population.
Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has repeatedly lamented that the lack of tough gun laws in Illinois has made the streets that much more dangerous because of the quickness with which people arrested on gun charges are back on the street.
Among them, he said, is the father of the young shooting victim. McCarthy said that the bullet that struck Amari Brown in the chest “was meant for his father,” whom he described as a “ranking gang member” who had been arrested 45 times.