5 killed, dozens shot in Chicago wave of violence

WASHINGTON • Forty-four people were shot across the Midwestern United States city of Chicago on Sunday, US media reported, with five killed in a wave of violence that police branded "totally unacceptable".

Chicago police chief of patrol Fred Waller told a press conference on Sunday afternoon that some of the shootings were targeted and related to gang conflicts.

"The city of Chicago experienced a violent night. Incidents of either random or targeted shooting on our streets are totally unacceptable," he said.

CNN reported that multiple shootings took place between midnight and 2pm local time - with 10 taking place in just three hours from 1.30am.

Gunmen targeted groups, including one gathering of people who had attended a funeral meal, police said, adding that one of the injured victims was an 11-year-old boy.

Chicago saw the highest number of murders in nearly 20 years in 2016, prompting President Donald Trump to regularly single out the city for criticism.

But Mr Waller said that so far this year, there has been a reduction in shootings of over 30 per cent in Chicago, while murders are down by 25 per cent.

"That's not a victory by any means, or any stretch," he said. "But we continue to head in the right direction."

He also said more than 5,500 illegal guns had been confiscated from the city's streets.

"I promise this city, we won't be defeated," he vowed during the press conference.

"We all live in this city. We all want this city to be safer."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2018, with the headline '5 killed, dozens shot in Chicago wave of violence'. Print Edition | Subscribe