22 shot, but no weekend murders, as crowds pack downtown for Mexican Independence Day

The past weekend was one of Chicago’s least violent this year despite a heightened police focus on downtown as thousands paraded the city to celebrate Mexican Independence Day.

Zero homicides were reported over the weekend, while at least 22 people were wounded — four of them critically — in shootings between 5 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Monday, according to Chicago police.

It was the second weekend this year without a homicide in the city. The other was the last weekend of January, according to Sun-Times data.

The most recent homicide in Chicago happened about 4:20 p.m. Friday, when 29-year-old Latrell Johnson was shot in the abdomen as he stood near the entrance of a business in the 10000 block of South Michigan Avenue, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

This year was a stark contrast to the Mexican Independence Day weekend a year ago.

It was one of the most violent weekends the city saw last year, when nine people were killed and 54 others were wounded. About a third of that weekend’s gun violence victims were 17 or younger. That weekend also included three people shot in the Loop, one of them fatally.

The lack of homicides this year came on a weekend when thousands crowded the streets downtown for celebration. Like other holiday weekends, police traditionally increase patrols and move resources from neighborhoods to downtown districts.

The Chicago Police Department said that while it is "continuously reviewing resource allocation citywide to ensure all areas have sufficient resources," it held meetings with the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications ahead of the weekend’s celebrations to "coordinate resources, as well as plan for traffic management and public safety response."

"OEMC’s Emergency Operations Center was also activated throughout the weekend to monitor events citywide and relay information to public safety staff on the ground," the police department said in a statement.

Despite the relatively minimal gun violence, the large crowds brought some disruptions, with videos posted to social media showing people on top of cars and buses, and others showing some shooting fireworks at police.

At least six Chicago police officers were attacked in different incidents.

Two cops were attacked by someone with a "heavy wooden stick" about 1 a.m. Saturday in Little Village as the officers tried to apprehend another person who tried to batter the officers. Both officers were hospitalized in good condition, and both suspects were taken into custody, police said.

Charges were filed against a 24-year-old woman who allegedly attacked four officers early Sunday in the Loop. Esmeralda Aguilar is accused of battering the four officers around 2:30 a.m. in the 200 block of North Wabash Avenue.

In other violence, two teenagers were stabbed during a fight Sunday in the Loop. A boy, 15, and a 19-year-old man were arguing with a group of people on a sidewalk in the 300 block of North State Street shortly after midnight when the man was stabbed in the back and the boy suffered a cut to his torso.

In shooting attacks, three people were wounded Friday night in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood. Two women, 41 and 58, and a man, 28, were all in good condition after being shot about 8:30 p.m. in the 7100 block of South Western Avenue, police said.

A 16-year-old girl sitting at home Friday night was grazed by a stray bullet that pierced through the home’s window in West Englewood. She was inside about 9 p.m. when gunfire from outside entered the house in the 7200 block of South Honore Street and grazed the girl’s arm, police said.

Sunday afternoon, a gunman suspected of stealing a car was shot by a Chicago police officer during a pursuit in West Englewood. The man, 25, got out of the car armed with a gun and officers followed him for one block, where an officer pulled out a gun and fired a shot, striking the suspect in the leg, police said. The man was hospitalized in serious condition.