More than four dozen hit by gun violence

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A Chicago police officer is recovering at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn from a gunshot wound to the chest sustained Monday on the Southeast Side after engaging in a “gun battle,” police superintendent Garry McCarthy.

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A Chicago police officer is recovering at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn from a gunshot wound to the chest sustained Monday on the Southeast Side after engaging in a “gun battle,” police superintendent Garry McCarthy.

The officer is among latest, at Defender press time, to be hit by gun violence in Chicago within the last five days. At least 50 were shot, including 10 fatally, since Friday. Police said gang conflicts were to blame in most of the shootings.

“The violence this past weekend is unacceptable to me and every law-abiding Chicago resident. Our streets belong to the families and children of our city, not to the gangs and gangbangers,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Community leaders called an emergency meeting Tuesday to address the city’s crippling violence.

Dawn Valenti of United For A Cause –– along with other community and anti-violence activists and parents of children felled by gun violence –– said the community must step up to help curb the violence. Too many lives are lost, she said.

Valenti said organizing a crime caravan, similar to the Community Caravan Night Patrols initiative in Newark, N.J., is what a good first step toward the solution.

A few nights each week, including the weekends, more than 100 Newark residents rode in caravans of white vans and saturated the neighborhoods with incidents of high shootings. The goal was to break up crime patterns while getting the residents more involved in crime prevention.

Valenti said with the proper approach, the measure could work in Chicago.

McCarthy addressed the media early Tuesday morning outside the hospital shortly before the 47-year-old South Chicago District tactical officer got out of surgery. The officer, who was shot just above his bulletproof vest, has a bullet lodged near his spine, McCarthy confirmed. Police are questioning a person of interest, he said.

A 6-year-old girl was among several people killed in a rash of weekend shootings in Chicago that also injured dozens of people, city authorities said.

The girl was outside her home when a pickup truck approached and one of the occupants started shooting Saturday afternoon, police said. She was struck in the stomach and taken to a local hospital, where she died that evening.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office identified the girl as Aliyah Shell of Chicago.

Chicago police charged two teenagers, a 16-year-old and 18-year-old, on Sunday. Authorities said a handgun was recovered after the shooting.

Shell’s death was among about a half dozen that were reported between Friday evening and Sunday. Dozens of others were injured in gun violence in neighborhoods across the city.

Chicago police said a 36-year-old man was killed in a South Side neighborhood early Sunday morning. He had been at a party when someone drove by an opened fire, authorities said. The man, identified as Bert Lindsey, was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The deaths also included a 22-year-old man who was shot in the head Saturday evening on the city’s South Side. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Authorities identified him as Vincent Fitts.

McCarthy said officers would be armed with more information about gangs to help quell the violence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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