13 people killed in Chicago over Labor Day as homicides climb over 500


Willis Tower and the Chicago skyline in November 2013. (Chicago Tribune)

CHICAGO — Thirteen people were shot to death in Chicago over the Labor Day weekend as the city logged its 500th homicide of the year. Thirty-one of the 65 people shot over the long weekend were wounded between 6 a.m. Monday and 3 a.m. Tuesday. Nine of the fatal shootings occurred over that period.

Among those shot was Crystal Myer, who was nine months pregnant and was shot in the abdomen on the same block where someone had been killed less than 20 hours earlier. No information on the baby was available. A man she was standing near was left in critical condition in the same shooting around 3:30 p.m. in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

Farther south, a retired pastor from Gary was shot to death outside a senior housing complex in the South Shore neighborhood around 6:30 a.m. Monday.


Police say the man was found dead, shot in the face outside the Senior Suites of Rainbow Beach near 77th and Exchange around 6:30 a.m. Monday. Residents identified the man as Allen H. Smith, and said they heard him arguing with another man before shots were fired.

Police said they took into custody another resident of the home. No charges had been filed.

The Labor Day weekend was the deadliest of the three holiday weekends this summer. The Memorial Day weekend saw 69 shot, 6 of them fatally, and the Fourth of July weekend recorded 66 shot, 5 of them fatal.

The uptick in shootings in this past weekend’s final hours mirrored the end of the Fourth of July. Gunfire in the final hours of that holiday made up half the entire weekend’s bloodshed.

Police attributed the 11th-hour surge to retaliatory acts, often involving gangs, after a weekend of parties and tense encounters.

Homicides in Chicago this year have risen to levels not seen since the 1990s, when killings peaked at more than 900 annually. The 90 homicides in August tied for the most the city had seen in a single month since June 1996. In the worst previous month — July 1993 — 99 people were slain.

After this past weekend’s violence, homicides now stand at 512 for the year, according to data collected and analyzed by the Tribune. There were 491 homicides all of last year.


Homicides and shootings in Chicago continue to far outpace both New York and Los Angeles, both bigger cities. According to official statistics through late August, the most recent publicly available, New York and Los Angeles had a combined 409 homicides, well below Chicago’s total.


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