Chicago/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on February 28, 2024
Chicago Reels from Weekend Shootings, Youth and Aspiring Paramedic Among FatalitiesSource: Chicago Police Department

Tragedy struck Chicago as a spate of mass shootings claimed multiple lives, including 14-year-old Amere Deese and 19-year-old aspiring paramedic Keyonce Gladney. The violent series of events unfolded over a warm February weekend, an atypical time for the city's spike in crime, which usually occurs during the summer months.

Deese, who had begun to turn his life around after struggling with his mother's death, was the youngest victim in a Sunday night shooting in the Chatham neighborhood that left two others dead, according to the Chicago Tribune. Details of the incident came from interviews with Cynthia Jones, Deese's grandmother, who recounted to the Tribune that her grandson had started attending school more consistently and even making the honor roll.

On the same day, in a separate incident in Rogers Park on the Far North Side, two Minnesota sisters, Keyonce and KeiLaysia Gladney, were at Pottawatomie Park when they were caught in gunfire. Keyonce was shot in the chest and died, while KeiLaysia suffered a wound to her foot. Their father, Courtney Gladney, spoke about the harsh reality of letting his daughter visit Chicago, hinting he would have opposed the visit if he had known her plans, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.

In total, within the 48-hour period, the city saw multiple shootings that resulted in four deaths and several injuries. One of the shootings took place inside a home in the 8000 block of South Vincennes Avenue, taking the lives of Deese, a 36-year-old man, and 20-year-old Ladeverett West Ringgold, according to WTTW News.

No suspects were in custody at the time of reporting, and the investigations remained ongoing. Chicago Police Department Chief of Detectives Antoinette Ursitti expressed confidence in the police's ability to apprehend those responsible, as she told reporters in a news conference obtained by the Chicago Tribune. The community, rocked by these events, is left grappling with the loss and the stark reminder of the city's persistent struggle with gun violence.