Dozens of people were shot in Chicago over the holiday weekend, with at least 11 fatalities — including seven fatal shootings on Christmas Day, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Two brothers, James and Roy Gill, were killed at a Christmas party; five other people were wounded in that shooting.
It’s a grim tally, coming at the end of a difficult, violent year in Chicago, as NPR’s Frank Morris reports.
Morris notes that there have been more than 740 homicides in Chicago so far this year — the last time the city topped 700 homicides was in 1998.
“But the spike in nonfatal shootings this year has been even worse,” he reports. “The number of people surviving gunshot wounds is up almost 50 percent from last year.”
Susan Johnson runs Chicago Survivors — a group that contracts with the city to provide counseling services, among other things, to the families of murder victims.
She tells Morris it’s been a tough, “terribly busy” year.
“We have a traumatized city,” she says. She says people are living “hair-trigger,” with anger issues “as a result of living in trauma and in violence.”
“Johnson says minor disputes often set bullets flying, in a city with rampant illegal gun trafficking, and lots of young, disorganized gangs. And she says the awful injustice of homicide can traumatize whole families, who tend to ‘cocoon’ after shootings, with especially troubling consequences for the children.
” ‘Fear is a big part of the aftermath of a homicide, and so many families are afraid to send their children outside anymore,’ [Johnson says].”