Violent holiday weekend claims at least 10 lives in Chicago

By NBC News and staff

More than 40 people were shot in Chicago over the holiday weekend, and at least 10 of them were killed, reported.

The latest shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. in Albany Park, a Chicago neighborhood, where police said a man was shot in the face. It followed dozens of shootings across the city since Friday.


"It's been a real rough weekend, a lot of gun violence," community activist Pastor Corey Brooks told ABC News.

Most of the victims were in stable or good condition, but as of Monday morning several remained in serious or critical condition, including the Albany Park victim.

"Very clearly, we have a gang problem in the city of Chicago," Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said at a press conference Tuesday, according to Chicago Web publication Gapers Block.

McCarthy said the strategy will include monitoring social media, including Twitter and Facebook, which he said are used as means of communication by gangs.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel mentioned the city's crackdown on liquor stores as another successful measure in curbing gang violence. Liquor stores, he said, are like a "cancer on the community."

Four liquor stores have already been shut down, Gapers Block said, and dozens may have their licenses revoked.

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According to the Chicago Tribune, homicides have increased 49 percent so far this year, with 200 people killed in 2012 compared with 134 during the same period in 2011. Shootings are also up nearly 14 percent over last year, the paper reported.

Some experts believe warmer weather could be causing violent crime to spike.

"For us, when the weather's warm, the first thing we think, we're going to get some gunshots in here because we know people are out in the street," Dr. Larry Mitchell of Chicago's Roseland Community Hospital told NPR.

The 66-degree average temperature in May is the warmest of any Chicago May over the past 35 years, the Chicago Weather Center reported. And Monday's 95-degree high is Chicago's warmest Memorial Day temperature since they started keeping records 142 years ago, according to the weather center.

But police superintendent Gary McCarthy is not ready to blame the weather for the city's spike in the murder rate.

"I'm not willing to chalk it up to the weather, the tides, the moons, voodoo, you name it," he told NPR. Instead, he blames Chicago's gang culture.

The weekend's most violent period was an hour-and-a-half stretch early Sunday morning, when 13 people were shot. The youngest victim is a 7-year-old girl shot Saturday afternoon in the arm as she was playing outside her home. She is expected to recover.

At least four teenagers were also killed in separate shootings this weekend.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police officials are expected to address the public Tuesday on new strategies aimed at reducing crime, ABC News reported. According to the mayor's office, they will announce "coordinated gang-reduction and neighborhood safety strategies."

U.S. News - Violent holiday weekend claims at least 10 lives in Chicago