CHICAGO -- After five people were killed in two separate shootings within hours Monday night, the recent round of gun violence and death in Chicago has the mayor and top cop struggling to control their anger and frustration.
Exactly 24 hours after an 11-month-old was shot and his mother and grandmother killed, relatives gathered Tuesday night to mourn and vent their anger.
"I watched my sister and my mother die in my arms last night with no help, no support. I tried everything I could," said James Chew, victims' relative.
Two police officers who were first on the scene found 11-month-old Princeton shot in the side and bleeding. They put him in their squad car and drove him to the hospital - saving precious minutes, and perhaps saving his life. For that, relatives say they're grateful.
"I can't explain to my nephew where his mama is. He looked at me in the eye. He asked me and I had no answer," James Chew said.
"Why you got to make our heart so inside out? It's so sad," said Unique Williams, victims' relative.
Police said the family who was shot were innocent victims in an ongoing gang turf war. Bullets also found two 25-year-olds standing nearby. Detectives won't say if they were the intended targets.
For Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, it's like a perverse version of the movie "Groundhog Day."
"Here we go again," Supt. McCarthy said. "We've had the same conversation over and over. What do we have to do? We have to hold criminals responsible."
This time, it was five dead in 24 hours and more than a dozen people shot. Five people were shot during a barbecue in the 300-block of West 42nd Street near a playground in Fuller Park just after midnight Tuesday. Three of them were killed.
A 2-year-old boy who was grazed by a bullet in an accidental shooting at a South Shore home is recovering at Comer Children's Hospital while an 11-month-old who was shot in the Back-of-the-Yards neighborhood is at Stroger Hospital.
The 11-month-old is identified as Princeton Chew by his family. His mother, 23-year-old Patricia Chew, and his grandmother, Lolita Wells, 46, were killed. Chew, who family members say was pregnant, was holding Princeton when they were both shot in the side.
"We have some promising leads," Supt. McCarthy said in those cases, but wouldn't go into detail because it could compromise the investigation.
The surge of violence comes the day after US Attorney Zach Fardon released a sobering report on gangs and violent crime in Chicago. He said murders are up 20-percent for the year.
The top cop all but threw up his arms on Tuesday.
"Time and time again it's the same pattern over and over again. Until such time as they're held accountable we could make a billion gun arrests a year and it's not going to make a difference," McCarthy said.
McCarthy said the city needs stricter gun laws and punishment for offenders. It's a mantra he and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have repeated numerous times.
"It's time that our criminal justice system and the laws as it relates to access to guns and the laws for using them reflect the values of the people of the city of Chicago," Mayor Emanuel said.
"We need help in the system... making sure the right people go to jail," McCarthy said.
He also said police need help from the public and the media.
"Chicago's got to wake up," Supt. McCarthy said.
Chicago violence: 12 shot in just 7 hours overnight
U.S. & WORLD
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