Effective immediately, unaccompanied minors are not allowed in Millennium Park after 6:00 p.m. from Thursday through Sunday, Lightfoot said in a statement.
“We, as a City, can not allow any of our public spaces to become platforms for danger. Anyone coming into our public spaces should expect to enjoy them peacefully and must respect and exhibit basic community norms of decency. We simply will not accept anything less,” Lightfoot said, in part. “I am calling on all parents, guardians, and caring adults to step up at this moment and do whatever it takes to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again and to encourage appropriate behavior when our young people gather anywhere in this great City of ours.”
Two people were shot in the Loop Saturday night after a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed near “the Bean,” Chicago police said.
The first shooting took place about 7:30 p.m.
The boy was in the 200-block of East Randolph Street when he was shot in the chest, CPD said.
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He was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office identified him as Seandell Holliday of Chicago.
At least two people of interest were taken in for questioning and at least two weapons were recovered, police said. Area detectives are investigating the shooting.
Then, just after 11:40 p.m., an 18- to 20-year-old man and an 18-year-old man were walking in the 300-block of South State Street when two boys shot into the group, police said.
The man whose age is unknown was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition with gunshot wounds to the neck and chest. The 18-year-old was taken to Stroger Hospital in fair condition with a gunshot wound to the left hand.
Two boys are being questioned, and Area Three detectives are investigating.
In response to the first Loop shooting, Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a statement, saying:
“Earlier this evening, a 16-year-old was tragically killed near Millennium Park. This senseless loss of life is utterly unacceptable. Tonight, a mother is grief-stricken, mourning the loss of her child and searching for answers. My heart is breaking for the mother as she grieves this unspeakable loss.
“Of course, young people are welcome everywhere in our city, but community norms require respect for each other, people’s property, and the sanctity of life. Anything less simply will not be tolerated. We must also have zero tolerance for young people carrying firearms or settling petty disputes with acts of violence. We all must condemn this behavior in the strongest terms possible and continue to take action against anyone who violates these basic community norms. And I continue to call upon parents and guardians to step up, to ensure that your children understand basic values of respect, and that you take responsibility for knowing at all times where your children are and who they are with.
“We will be taking additional actions to stop this lawlessness and will share details as soon as possible on what additional measures we will be taking to help prevent events like this from happening in the future.”
Police said hundreds of young people were at Millennium Park Saturday night and began flooding surrounding streets. Officers were called in to clear the park.
WATCH: Chicago police attempt to clear crowds downtown
Twenty-six children and four adults were arrested in connection with the incident, Chicago police said. There were five gun arrests and seven guns recovered.
Two officers were also injured.
Police, who in recent weeks said they would be cancelling officers days off, and sending additional resources downtown, were forced to shut down streets surrounding the park.
Superintendent David Brown today said the police department’s priority right now is making Millennium Park safe, but admitted that there is a possibility of displacement to other downtown locations. These large groups of young people appear to be drawn downtown on weekends, not by chance, but as a result of coordinated efforts to get them there born on social media, he said.
“This is different,” Brown said. “Our intelligence tells us there are groups convening. These young people… we need to deal with the back end of how this gets started.”
Too many people and families have been hurt by senseless gun violence in our city. Too many guns are making their way into the hands of those with too little respect for the sanctity of life. It should not be normal to see young lives and immense potential being cut short. pic.twitter.com/E6eEgYohEf
— Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown (@ChiefDavidBrown) May 15, 2022
ABC7 spoke with a teen who said these gatherings are called “trends.” That’s when large crowds of young people meet up at a location, he said, to “have fun.”
“I’m gonna meet a bunch of kids this morning who’ve come from all over the world at the hostel. I’m gonna have to tell them more than just ‘don’t take your cell phone out on the Red Line. Now I’m gonna have to tell them to pay attention all the time. It didn’t used to happen in the neighborhoods that we usually walk in. It seems now so random,” said Paul Nyenhuis, who was at Millennium Park on Saturday night. “Who do these kids go home to at night!? Who are their parents!?”
Nyenhuis said he left as officers tried to bring calm to the Loop, moments before gunfire was heard near the Bean.
“They were just standing, talking randomly… And all of a sudden, they started shooting,” said Zarnab Saleem, a witness. “It’s going out of control, I would say. Everyday I hear this, but this time I saw it and I felt it. It’s so scary!”
Regular visitors to the park have been on edge.
“It’s just a little iffy,” said Eric Pimentel. “50/50 chance where I could be safe or not safe.”
Police have not yet provided details on what the process will be to identify unaccompanied minors in Millennium Park.
Lightfoot’s full statement on new curfew:
“Tragically, a young person – a teenager – lost his life last night in Millennium Park. I suspect an overwhelming majority of the youth who were in the Park were there to have a good time and enjoy a summer evening. But the scene devolved into one of chaos and unnecessary violence.
We, as a City, can not allow any of our public spaces to become platforms for danger. Anyone coming into our public spaces should expect to enjoy them peacefully and must respect and exhibit basic community norms of decency. We simply will not accept anything less.
So, effective immediately, from Thursday through Sunday, unaccompanied minors are not allowed in Millennium Park after 6:00 pm. This new policy will be strictly enforced and violations will be dealt with swiftly. All of our residents and visitors under the age of 18 are welcome at the Park during the evening hours as long as they are accompanied by at least one responsible adult.
We will partner with Chicago Public Schools and our other local school systems to fully explain this new policy to students, as well as to encourage guardians to ensure that their children are conducting themselves appropriately and safely at all times.
I am also calling upon the Chicago Police Department to work with our federal partners to accelerate gun traces for all firearms found in the hands of minors and to swiftly bring criminal charges against any adult who has provided a firearm to a person under the age of 18.
As a City, we must ensure that our young people have safe spaces to congregate and that in those spaces they are peaceful and actually safe. I am calling on all parents, guardians, and caring adults to step up at this moment and do whatever it takes to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again and to encourage appropriate behavior when our young people gather anywhere in this great City of ours. We all must model and enforce the respect and peace we expect from our young people at all times.”
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