Saturday, June 8, 2013

Update #6: Chicago More Violent, But Media Obsesses On Santa Monica Shooting Spree

June 8, 2013 (1:00 AM CDT) - By Santa Monica standards, Friday was horrific. Five people were killed, including a crazed gunman, and five others wounded in Santa Monica, CA. One victim was hospitalized in critical condition.

By Chicago standards, that's a quiet weekend. At 4:40 PM on Saturday, I am listening to the Chicago PD scanner frequencies and hearing numerous reports of "man with a gun," "shots fired" and other mayhem. At least 13 people shot citywide mid-way through the weekend in Chicago (details at the Chicago Tribune). Keep in mind that in addition to people being shot, there are others being knifed, beaten with fists and blunt instruments, raped and robbed.

Update, 3:15 AM CDT, June 10: Make that 18 shot, two of which died...

While all that is happening, the national news media is obsessing on Friday's shootings in Santa Monica. Battlefield Chicago is more violent, but it is being overlooked. 

The Santa Monica killer, now dead, was a crazed individual with a semi-automatic rifle. His first two victims were his own brother and father. He fired at the house they were in, causing the house to catch fire. "As the house burst into flames, the man wounded a woman in a car before moving toward the campus, spraying bullets as he went. Police said he opened fire on a city bus, a police car and other vehicles, as well as bystanders and pedestrians," reports CBS News.

"As the house burst into flames, the man wounded a woman in a car before moving toward the campus, spraying bullets as he went," says CBS. "Police said he opened fire on a city bus, a police car and other vehicles, as well as bystanders and pedestrians." He continued on, killing the driver of an SUV and two of its passengers, and then mortally wounded a woman on the Santa Monica College campus. (She died at a nearby hospital.) Police made their way into the library, where they fatally shot the gunman.

Chicago: Crying for the Dying
The media initially reported the death toll as six or seven. After the dust settled, however, authorities downgraded that to four. So, four dead. Five wounded, one critically. A horrific day in Santa Monica.

The City That Bleeds

By Chicago standards, four dead and five wounded is a slow Friday night. As a total, it would be considered a very quiet weekend in The City That Bleeds.

Update, 01:15 AM, June 8: Moments after we published this post, we learned that there was another shooting in Chicago shortly after midnight.  Reports indicated two victims were shot, one in his head and one in his chest, on W. Lake Street at N. Central Park. At 1:49 AM, the Chicago Tribune posted a story online. (As of 3:15 AM on Monday morning, there were two dead plus another 16 wounded.)

With that in mind, add two more to the headline below

Consider this June 7 headline from CBS2 Chicago: "At Least 8 Wounded In City Shootings Since Friday Afternoon." TGIF, the weekend has just begun. Highlights from that June 7 story:
  • "Three to five people were wounded during a Friday evening shooting in West Englewood..."
  • "In the Gage Park neighborhood, a man was critically wounded in a possible drive-by shooting about 8:15 p.m., police said. The 19-year-old was shot multiple times in the chest and back....and listed in critical condition late Friday."
  • "A man was critically wounded in the Edgewater neighborhood about 8 p.m. [The victim] was shot in the mouth in the 5400 block of North Magnolia Avenue. He was taken in critical condition to Illinois Masonic, fire media said."
  • "In the Austin neighborhood, a male was shot in the ankle about 7:30 p.m...."
  • A 15-year-old boy was shot in the leg "when a white SUV approached and a person got out and shot him about 3:30 p.m., police said." The boy is thought to be a gang member "who was shouting gang slogans at the passing SUV, which contained rival gang members, a police source said."
  • "In the South Shore neighborhood, a teenage boy was shot in the arm about 1:50 p.m." and taken to a hospital in stable condition.
Bad, right? Consider this headline from the day before, on Thursday, June 6, from ABC7 Chicago: "2 killed; 7, including boy, 9, hurt in Chicago shootings." Also consider this one, on May 30 from CBS News: "Four dead and 11 injured in shootings since Wednesday afternoon." Those stories of slaughter and mayhem happened on weekdays. The weekends in Chicago are even worse. Google "violent weekend in Chicago" and see for yourself.

Say a prayer for the four dead and five wounded in Santa Monica. Please also pray for the thousands of Chicagoans, dead and wounded. Pray that Chicago makes it through another, predictably violent weekend.

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