There are no gun shops in Chicago, so they say, but murders are on pace to hit 730 for 2013. Guns are usually the weapons that the killers choose to use.
Two teenage boys were murdered over the weekend, and guns were the weapons used by the killers. One victim, 14-year-old Rey Dorantes, was reportedly shot while sitting on the front porch of his home. Fifteen-year-old Victor Vega was reportedly walking with another male when they were approached by an armed man who opened fire, killing Vega. In separate incidents, four other people were wounded via gunfire, and all but one of them were under the age of 17. There have been 21 homicides in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago since the start of 2013. At least 15 of the victims were shot to death, and more than half were under the age of 30. It’s not known yet whether either boy’s murder was gang related, but Chicago police believe that the majority of murders committed within the city are the result of gang wars and gang violence.
According to a story published in March 2012, Chicago’s gang-related statistics are alarming:
Chicago is home to the largest gang population in the country, Fox Chicago reported in January. The Chicago Crime Commission reports 73 active gangs with 68,000 to 150,000 gang members in the city.
Territory issues are bound to happen with such large numbers of gangs chasing after the same profit. Uptown’s Wilson and Broadway cross section exemplifies this competition
“You look at the [Latin] Kings that tried to move into the area here,” said Pat Gordon, supervisor of the Uptown neighborhood branch of ONE/CeaseFire. “It didn’t come to fruition because there were too many gangs already in the area.”
Gordon said that the intersection is a war zone between the Black P. Stones on the West and the Vice Lords on the East – two gangs that take the profitability of that corner very seriously.
The unusual alliance between the Stones and another Chicago super gang would incite tension with the Kings, who are a cousin gang of the Stones under the Peoples Nation, according to Gordon.
ONE/CeaseFire intervened before conflict escalated. The Kings returned to their turf on Lawrence and Ashland.
“Just like a business, if you can’t bring in a profit to make ends meet at the end of the day, then it’s going to fall through,” he continued.