Chicago violence over July 4th weekend down this year compared to 2015

Heading into the final night of the holiday weekend, the murders and shootings in Chicago are down from recent years.

- Heading into the final night of the holiday weekend, the murders and shootings in Chicago are down from recent years.

By early Monday evening, three people had been killed and 30 others were injured in shootings in Chicago. Last year, 55 people were shot and 10 were killed.

For Chicagoans celebrating the 4th of July holiday, that’s good news.

“So this is our spot and we ain't never had no trouble, so I feel safe,” said Vanessa Bramlett Scott, who was cooking and hanging out with dozens of family members in Washington Park.

But in some neighborhoods, safety is still a big concern. Two teenage boys were among those shot in the last 24 hours. Police say they were standing at the corner of 72nd and Lowe in the Englewood neighborhood when someone got out of a car and opened fire. 

The Police Superintendent says the downturn in violence this weekend is a direct result of their two raids on Thursday and Friday targeting convicted felons. A total of 115 people were arrested.

“I think in 2014 we had about 16 killed throughout the Fourth of July weekend and that's just ridiculous. So we are making progress, it's not success yet, but these are, this goes a long way, I think to let everybody know that we are focusing on the right individuals,” Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.

Less than a mile away from where the two teens were shot, members of MASK, Moms and Men Against Senseless Killings, were at their daily post at 75th and Stewart trying to discourage violence by building relationships.

“It's worked for us, we had no killings around here last year, in this particular area last July 4th weekend, and we're looking to hopefully duplicate that,” said Damani Bowden, a volunteer with MASK.

Just down the block, 80-year-old Lubertha Smith reflected on her love for the July 4th holiday, but with the recent history of violence on this weekend, she says it's very different.

“I am afraid to be outside, I'm afraid to have my grandchildren outside because if you're outside and they've got the fireworks going, I don't know if it's fireworks or what,” Smith said.

But as Police do their best to control, or ward off violence, people who live with it on a regular basis know police can't do it on their own.

“I tell you my friend, it's just going to take time and most of all, I know this is going to sound old, but too bad, I am old and I believe in prayer,” Smith said.

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