(CHICAGO) — Chicago’s holiday weekend ended with a crescendo of violence, with 21 shootings on Sunday alone, police said Monday.
Police did not release a total number of shootings for the three-day holiday weekend, but before Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy gave his figures for Sunday, Chicago had already counted more than 60 shootings and 11 fatalities.
“It’s groundhog day here in Chicago again,” McCarthy said, an apparent reference to repeated spasms of violence in the city.
McCarthy said in a press conference Monday that the department had deployed “hundreds” more officers over the weekend in anticipation of holiday violence.
“The results were a lot of shootings and a lot of murders unfortunately,” he said.
A spike in homicides came in 2012 when the city’s murder rate jumped from 431 in 2011 to 500, according to Uniform Crime Reports. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made combating gun violence one of his top priorities since being elected in 2011, and the murder rate dropped again in 2013 to 440 deaths.
McCarthy said that the police department’s records show 185 people have been murdered in Chicago this year, as compared to 196 who had been killed by this point last year — which marks a 6 percent drop.
Fourth of July weekend has been particularly violent in the past as well. ABC News affiliate WLS reported that 12 people were killed and 75 were injured during the same weekend last year, though that spanned more time since the national holiday fell on a Thursday in 2013 as opposed to a Friday this year.
At Monday’s press conference, McCarthy said that “we had the same level of shootings as we did last year, which is unacceptable.”
McCarthy said that there were eight instances where police officers either discharged their weapons or had shots fired at them.
He also noted that the police department has collected 3,400 guns in the city this year.
“It all comes down to these guns: there’s too many guns coming in and too little punishment going out,” McCarthy said.
This weekend’s rash of shootings came just a week after the Chicago City Council approved an ordinance to put further limits on gun sales in the area.
The ordinance, which was backed by Emanuel and passed unanimously on June 26, would require gun stores to have video surveillance equipment to record the sales and try to stop “straw” sales, where individuals buy guns for friends or relatives who are banned from buying their own.
“Something has to happen to slow down the straw purchasing that happens in this state,” McCarthy said Monday morning.
Outrage was sparked just months ago when 45 people were shot over Easter weekend, a shooting barrage that left nine people dead.
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