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As City Fights Coronavirus, Violence Epidemic Continues With 7 Dead In One Day: ‘Enough, Enough, Enough’

In one "brutal" murder, a man was thrown in front of a Red Line train at a Downtown platform. "I've directed the Police Department to spare no expense or resource to bring the perpetrators to justice," the mayor said.

A Chicago Police patch adorns a police uniform.
Colin Boyle/ Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — After a deadly Tuesday in Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the police department would find the “cowards” who left seven people dead and 14 people wounded as the city combats a public health crisis.

During a news briefing that was supposed to be dedicated to city efforts to combat coronavirus, Lightfoot was frustrated to have to address a violent night in the city. As temperatures hit the mid-70s Tuesday, shootings left a 5-year-old girl wounded and seven others dead.

Among those who were killed was 27-year old Alexa Baute in Logan Square, 29-year-old Mamadou Balde in the Downtown area, 41-year-old Duwayne Allmon in South Shore, 50-year-old Robert Johnson in West Garfield Park, 37-year-old Paul Boyd in Auburn Gresham and two others in Auburn Gresham who have not yet been identified.

“Unfortunately, the epidemic of gun violence continues to plague us every day, every hour of the day,” Lightfoot said. “Individual trigger-pullers slaughtered people in a totally heinous way. This level of violence is never acceptable. … Shooting into crowds without any regard for the consequences is the most heinous form of cowardice.”

Violence is unacceptable all the time, the mayor said, but “our ability to treat all Chicagoans is being stretched to the breaking point” already due to COVID-19, making this week’s violence even more egregious than usual.

“I’ve directed the police department to spare no expense or resource to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Lightfoot said. “People know who the shooters are. You know who you are. These cowards cannot be given any shelter. … Enough, enough, enough.”

Interim Police Supt. Charlie Beck said officers having to investigate the shootings means there are fewer officers able to protect local families and enforce social distancing even as the city tries to slow down the spread of coronavirus.

Beck described one “particularly brutal” murder where a man was thrown under a train on a Red Line platform.

At 5:13 p.m. Tuesday, Balde was at the Jackson Red Line station in the 200 block of South State Street when three people pushed him onto the tracks, police said.

Beck said the department has suspects in custody in two of the incidents, and has “strong leads with suspects identified in two others.”

“But as the mayor said, these unconscionable and cowardly acts of violence affect every one of us in Chicago,” Beck said. “This violence has to stop. There are two pandemics that face Chicago, and only one of them is virus-induced.”

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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