7 killed since Friday; McCarthy says police ‘treading water’
BY HUNTER CLAUSS AND JIM SCALZITTI Staff Reporters August 25, 2012 12:35AM
Updated: August 26, 2012 11:30AM
While seven people have been killed and at least another 36 wounded in shootings in Chicago since Thursday night, police Supt. Garry McCarthy sees the police department’s anti-violence strategy taking root, though he notes police are “basically treading water” in their efforts to stem the tide of violence.
In a press conference Saturday afternoon touting a crackdown on two South Side drug markets, McCarthy said he sees the police department’s anti-violence strategy taking root.
“We’re not winning, we’re not losing. We’re basically treading water,” McCarthy said. He said that in the month of August, “we had some trouble because some of these retaliatory shootings are happening quicker than we can stop them.”
He noted that in some communities police have had problems getting support from some community leaders, and he’d like to fix that.
“We have an unacceptable level of violence in this city,” McCarthy said. “I say it time and again.”
In the most violent shootings of the past few days, eight people were wounded in a drive-by that happened about 9:15 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of 79th Street and Kingston Avenue. On Saturday, McCarthy would not comment on any evidence that police have gathered in relation to that shooting, but “we have people identified that we’re going after already.”
McCarthy wanted to stress that a lot of the people involved in that shooting — both offenders and victims — were alleged to be gang members.
“We’re talking about 14- to 15-year-old kids on the streets with guns … engaging in violent behavior. That’s not something that’s taking place in every neighborhood in the city.”
The most recent fatal shooting occurred early Sunday in the South Side Calumet Heights neighborhood.
Rashad Pratt, 28, was found at 2:58 a.m. with multiple gunshot wounds inside a vehicle near the intersection of East 91st Street and South East End Avenue, according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
Pratt, of the 9000 block of South Ridgeland Avenue, was dead at the scene, authorities said. No one is in custody in connection with the slaying as of early Sunday.
On Saturday, about 1:20 p.m., Christopher Spraggins, 20, and an 18-year-old man were fatally shot in the 7900 block of South St. Lawrence, authorities said.
Sraggins, of the 300 block of East 76th Street, was dead on the scene, police said.
The 18-year-old man was shot in the leg and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead at 2:14 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, which withheld his name pending family notification Saturday night.
A 17-year-old girl suffered a gunshot wound to the back, authorities said, and paramedics took her to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in good condition.
About 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, Stephin Wilkins, 23, was sitting in a vehicle with his girlfriend in the 4900 block of South Drexel when two people walked up with a handgun and tried robbing him, police said.
Wilkins tried fighting the robbers and was shot multiple times, police said. Wilkins was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he died, authorities said.
On Friday, a teenager and two men were killed in separate shootings.
About 8 p.m., Phillip McCall, 34, was shot twice in the back in the 8800 block of South Indiana, authorities said. McCall, of the 200 block of East 89th Street, was pronounced dead at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, the medical examiner’s office said.
At 5:42 p.m., Lucian Dreux, 17, stood outside in the 7900 block of South Drexel when someone riding a mountain bike fired shots, authorities said.
Dreux, of the 8000 block of South Ingleside, suffered gunshot wounds to the face and abdomen, authorities said, and doctors pronounced him dead at Stroger Hospital.
A 42-year-old woman was also shot and was listed in good condition at Stroger Hospital, police said.
About the same time that Dreux was shot, 30-year-old Noah Cruz suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the chest in the 3000 block of South Wallace, authorities said. Cruz, of the 800 block of West 31st Street, was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he later died, authorities said.
A total of 17 people were wounded in shootings since Friday evening. The youngest victim reported by police was a 15-year-old girl, who suffered a gunshot wound to the chest Friday night as she smoked marijuana in the Roseland neighborhood on the Far South Side.
The girl and a teenage boy were hanging out in the 0 to 100 block of West 112th Street when the boy moved a gun and it fired, police said. Paramedics took the girl to the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition, authorities said.
Police said the shooting appeared to be accidental.
Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire