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Violence in Chicago reached astounding numbers in Chicago during the holiday weekend, with an estimated 61 people shot and almost a dozen killed in shootings that took place throughout the city.

According to the Root, the bulk of the shootings in Chicago took place on the city’s West and South sides, while the total number of fatalities could increase due to a large number of the shooting victims being in critical condition.

The Chicago Tribune reports that most of the shootings were the result of gang violence.

Eddie Johnson, the Chicago Police Superintendent, stated “The violence primarily occurred in areas with historical gang conflicts on the South and West sides of the city,” Johnson said the day after Christmas. “We now know that the majority of these shootings and homicides were targeted attacks by gangs against potential rival gang members and groups who were at holiday gatherings.”

He added, “These were deliberate and planned shootings by one gang against another. They were targeted knowing fully well that individuals would be at the homes of family and friends celebrating the holidays. This was followed by several acts of retaliation.”

Among the victims of the massacre were two teenage girls, ages 13 and 14, who are currently in the hospital receiving treatment for their injuries.

But the violence didn’t end there.

From the Tribune:

“A total of 61 people were shot in the city during the holiday weekend and 11 of them died of their wounds, according to data kept by the Tribune. Seven people were killed on Christmas Day alone, more than on the holiday the past three years combined. Three people were killed in 2015, one in 2014, and two in 2013.”

News like this is always very sad to report, but especially when the majority of the victims are minors. Hopefully in the New Year Chicago officials can come up with some permanent solutions to put an end to the extreme gang violence plaguing the city of Chicago.

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