Two teenagers were shot and 15 people were arrested after hundreds of young people caused a disturbance in downtown Chicago Saturday night, Chicago police said.
The two men that were shot were 16 and 17 years old. According to authorities, shots were fired by an unknown individual or persons at approximately 9 p.m. on Saturday.
The 16-year-old received an arm gunshot wound, while the 17-year-old received a leg bullet wound. Both were transported to the hospital in good condition.
Groups of teens were seen punching, kicking, and stomping on someone on the ground at least two times, NewsNation affiliate WGN reported. People were also spotted jumping on parked cars and smashing windows.
“The crime in Chicago is simply out of hand. It’s nuts,” community activist Patrick Gibbons told WGN. “We had people jumping on cars, this is insane.”
The group was gathered in the Loop area from Michigan Ave. to Clark St, near Chicago’s Millennium Park. A heavy police presence responded to the disturbance.
Nine adults and six juveniles were arrested. Most were charged with reckless conduct but one 16-year-old boy is also facing a charge for unlawful use of a weapon, according to WGN. Police say an adult and juvenile were also charged with possessing a stolen vehicle.
Community groups are now urging city officials to help combat crime.
“We need to give the Chicago Police Department the resources and funding they need to take care of this crime in our community,” activist and president of the Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce told WGN.
The pandemonium impacted public transportation and traffic in the area.
“There needs to be more respect for our police officers. There needs to be more law and order. The punks on the street, they don’t care, they think they can do anything they want,” Gibbons said.
Locals Stuart and Heidi Floyd said they just observed many kids walking through, but nothing destructive was going on.
“When we walked by we saw a large group of kids who were just kids being kids. We didn’t see the vandalism or destruction,” Heidi told WGN.
This isn’t the first time police in Chicago have reacted to a large group of teenagers this weekend. Hundreds of people gathered on 31st Street Beach on Friday night, where a 14-year-old kid was also shot.
In a statement released Sunday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on parents to partner with the city to help stem the violence.
“We as a city cannot and will not allow our public spaces to become a platform for criminal conduct. Most importantly, parents and guardians must know where their children are and be responsible for their actions. Instilling the important values of respect for people and property must begin at home,” Lightfoot said.
“We ask parents to partner with us by ensuring that your children’s plans are safe and that they know when to exit a situation before it becomes unsafe.”
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