Eight killed in shootout at Thanksgiving holiday in US


Chicago:¬†Eight people were killed and dozens injured in Chicago in the US city’s second most violent Thanksgiving holiday weekend in recent years as it continues to struggle with gun violence.

Forty-four people were shot during the period from Wednesday afternoon to early Monday, according to statistics maintained by the Chicago Tribune.

That is fewer than the 70 shot during the same holiday period last year, but higher than the totals of recent years — 28 in 2015 and 19 in 2014 — when violent crime in Chicago and the rest of the US was trending down.

The de facto Midwestern capital has grappled with an alarming rise in gun-related murders, many of them tied to gang and drug activity, with 2016 setting a record for the past decade.

Shootings in the third-largest US city have far outpaced those in its two bigger rivals, New York and Los Angeles.

But steps taken by authorities appear to have reduced the bloodshed from record levels. While 621 people have been killed so far this year in Chicago, that is 100 fewer than at the same point last year, according to the Tribune.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly singled out the violence in Chicago and accused local leaders of failing to contain it.

Earlier this year, federal authorities deployed additional law enforcement officers to work with local police.

The city has also been bolstering police recruitment and expanding the use of gunshot detection devices and data-driven crime prediction technologies to help police respond more quickly to crimes.

The city claims the predictive technologies have helped reduce shootings 23 percent in areas where they have been implemented.

Nationwide, violent crime increased in 2016 for the second consecutive year, with murders up 8.6 percent, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics.