(Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune)
Bloodshed during Easter weekend in Chicago has prompted action from the federal government. Nine people were killed and 36 wounded in the city that has long been plagued by gun violence. Those wounded include five children, ages 11 to 15.
U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon created a new Violent Crimes section that includes 16 prosecutors from the larger Narcotics and Gangs section, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The specially selected prosecutors will reportedly use drug and gun statues to tackle gangs responsible for violent acts, Randall Samborn, a spokesman for Fardon, said, according to the Tribune.
“This is putting a group of talented attorneys together and telling them that their mission is to help the city and the district tamp down violent crime…and to use all the tools and strategies at their disposal that are going accomplish that mission,” Samborn said, according to the Tribune.
Tymisha Washington, 11, and four other children, were shot upon leaving a park on Easter Sunday.
A car of four occupants pulled up and asked if the children were in a gang. Jamante White, who was shot in the leg, recalled the gunmen not giving the group an opportunity to respond.
“They never gave us a chance to speak,” the 14-year-old boy told NBC Chicago. “They just started shooting.
White, who was treated at Comer Hospital, said a total of three gunman fired.
A 14-year-old girl was shot in the abdomen and also taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in serious condition.
Tymisha was hit by two bullets. One bullet hit her chin and another punctured a lung and broke her collarbone. She was transported to Stroger Hospital where she was listed in critical condition.
A 15-year-old girl was shot in the arm and also taken to Stroger Hospital.
The last victim, a 14-year-old girl, was grazed in the buttocks and taken to St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center
Gun violence has plagued the city of Chicago for decades. Many residents have renamed the Windy City “Chiraq” for its high rate of violence. Chicago, according to statistics, has a higher homicide rate than Kabul, Afghanistan.
Chicago has been under the national spotlight after ranking number one in the number of homicides recorded in 2012, according to a report released by the FBI.
There were 506 murder victims in the Windy City in 2012. There were 421 homicides recorded in 2013.
Chicago has long recorded devastating numbers over the past two decades.
Chicago recorded its highest peak of homicides in 1992 with 943 murders, according to statistics compiled by the Chicago Police Department.
Since 1991, there has been close to 15,000 murders in Chicago to date.
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