Chicago – Eight Dead, 41 Wounded in Fourth of July Weekend Violence

At least eight people have died and 41 others were wounded in shootings across Chicago this Fourth of July weekend.

Among those who died was a 7-year-old boy who was shot while watching fireworks in Humboldt Park with his father just before midnight Saturday.

Amari Brown and his father were standing on the sidewalk in the 1100 block of North Harding when gunfire erupted around them, striking Amari and a 26-year-old woman, who was transported to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in stable condition, police said. Both were shot in the chest.

The boy’s father said he thought the sound of gunfire was just fireworks, and he didn’t realize Amari had been shot until the boy called out for him.

Amari’s family say the little boy was a “jokester” and acted like a typical 7-year-old who loved to run and play. They say the best way to describe him is “a sweet, sweet little boy.”

No one is in custody for the shooting. Activist Pastor Ira Acree, of Greater St. John Bible Church on the West Side, said he will offer a reward for any information leading to the offender’s arrest.

Another victim of a fatal shooting was a 17-year-old boy who was shot near recently named Hadiya Pendleton Park in the 4300 block of South King. The teen, identified as Vonzell Banks, a junior at Dunbar Vocational High School, was likely not the intended target, police said.

Banks and a 19-year-old man were standing outside the park at about 4:45 p.m. Friday when a vehicle approached them and someone inside opened fire, police said. The 19-year-old was shot in the right foot and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where his condition stabilized.

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