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Massive crime spree in Chicago leaves 59 people shot, eight dead since Friday

Chicago police officers and detectives are seen Sunday investigating the scene of one of multiple shootings in the city over the weekend. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

At least 59 people were shot and eight died during a massive outbreak of violence in Chicago since 5 p.m. Friday, according to published reports.

What was the time frame?

The figure includes 34 shootings and five deaths that happened between 10 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday, WLS-TV reported. During a 2.5 hour period, 25 people were shot in five separate, multi-injury shootings.

"We know that some of these incidents were targeted and are related to gang conflicts in those areas," Chicago Police Chief of Patrol Fred Waller said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.

Many victims were teenagers, the Chicago Tribune reported. At least 16 teenagers were shot, and 12 of them were age 17 or younger. During a shooting spree in Gresham in the city's far south side, seven of the victims were 21 or younger.

Local hospitals were stretched thin as victims and their families continued to pour in.

The Chicago Tribune described part of the scene in the city:

Blood thickened on the sidewalk in front of the main door to a large brick apartment building on the north side of Douglas Boulevard between Millard and Lawndale Avenue and dotted the sidewalk farther north on Millard. Dozens of people remained outside, some sitting on the steps in front of Stone Temple Baptist Church on the northwest corner of Millard and Douglas.

One young man in a backward Bulls cap sat down on the curb away from everyone else, put his head in his hands and cried.

Mount Sinai’s emergency center was on bypass for a few hours and was unable to accept new emergencies “...because of the sheer amount of shootings,” spokesman Dan Regan told the newspaper.

“We went off of bypass around 8:30 this morning, so we are back to normal operations in terms of accepting patients,” Regan said.

“Our folks are unfortunately well-versed in dealing with these kinds of situations,” he added.

Dozens of people were also seen gathered in the parking lot of Stroger Hospital on Sunday morning. Access to the hospital was tightened as more than 200 people had converged on the facility, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Alderman Walter Burnett Jr., of Chicago’s 27th District, stopped by to speak with the families gathered nearby.

“You have young kids crying, older people crying, it’s just so heartbreaking,” Burnett told the news outlet. “So we try to give them some comfort, pray for them, and also at the same time try to encourage the young adult men not to try to get revenge.”

What can people do?

Burnett said he believes it’s up to the neighborhoods to stop the violence. That’s what happened while he was growing up in the former Cabrini-Green housing project.

“It was the mothers, it was the preachers, it was people in the neighborhood who stopped the wars in Cabrini Green,” he said. “It wasn’t the police.”

At the time of this writing, no suspects were in custody.

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