CHICAGO (AP) - Police said Monday that two teenage boys who were missing for days have been found shot to death in a field on Chicago's South Side and that two people have been taken into custody for questioning.
The bodies of 16-year-old Raysuan Turner and 17-year-old Darnelle Flowers were found Sunday night near Golden Gate Park. Their deaths come during what is shaping up to be a violent month in Chicago, but Police Department statistics show homicides overall are down so far this year compared to the same period last year and the previous year.
The families of Turner and Flowers had reported them missing over the weekend. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said detectives believe the teens may have been killed during a robbery. In addition, he said one of the victims had been involved in gangs - he declined to say which one - and that police are trying to determine if the gang connection could have been a factor. He said no charges had been filed as of Monday afternoon.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said shootings claimed a total of six lives in the city over the weekend, and that 52 others were wounded.
The weekend wasn't as deadly as the one that started August. During that first weekend of the month, at least 11 people were killed and around 70 wounded. That surge of violence stood out even in a city where the number of shootings typically spike in the summer - at least seven were killed and 32 wounded during the long Memorial Day weekend - and prompted Johnson to announce that he was dispatching hundreds of additional officers to the neighborhoods on the city's South and West Sides where most of the violence occurred.
Department statistics show homicides in Chicago are down so far this year compared to the same period in 2017 and 2016. The department says there have been 354 homicides so far this year compared to 440 during the same period last year and 451 during the period the year before.
The number of shooting victims has also dropped to 1,942 so far this year compared to 2,332 for the same period last year and 2,676 for the same period the year before.