Long Weekend of Gun Violence Leaves 37 Wounded, Four Fatalities
Deborah Bayliss | 4/17/2014, 4:03 p.m.
A 17-year-old juvenile, whose name is being withheld, on Monday, appeared in Central Bond Court, at 26th and California in Chicago, and was charged with first degree murder following a verbal altercation that occurred on the 3000 block of W. 53rd Place, early Sunday morning.
According to police, during the confrontation, the juvenile retrieved a handgun from his residence and shot Joshua Martinez, 20, of the 4900 block of South Karlov Avenue, several times. Martinez was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:26 a.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.
Martinez was one of several victims reportedly shot between Friday afternoon and Sunday night, where at least 37 people were shot, four of them fatally.
The Chicago Citizen Newspaper asked the Chicago Police Department what they thought attributed to the weekend gun violence spike and if they felt warm weather played a role.
Officer Jose Estrada, Chicago Police News Affairs said, “Every year the media tries to make a direct correlation to violence and weather and there’s nothing you’ll get from law enforcement saying there’s a connection. There are a lot of factors involved.”
Chicago Police Superintendent, Garry McCarthy on Monday said gang rivalries are involved in some of the most recent shootings but that “lax state and federal gun laws” thwart the department’s efforts, according to a CBS news report on Monday.
The findings of a recent American Psychological Association (APA) report, the result of an APA panel discussion to review gun violence in general, titled, Gun Violence: Prediction, Prevention, and Policy, that included child psychologists, psychologists, public health professionals and behavioral experts pointed out several factors.
Child psychologist, W. Douglas Tynan, PhD, ABPP, Professor of Pediatrics served on the panel.
When asked if warmer weather leads to a spike in gun violence, Tynan said, “I don’t think warm weather causes more gun violence but it does open the door of opportunity for it. Miami (Fla.) has the same rate of gun violence year-round but Wilmington, Delaware, which is where I am now, is a fraction of the size of Chicago and had 100 shootings last year. We had a brutal winter and those rates were way down but now people are worried as the weather warms.”
Dr. Tynan added, “The biggest problem with a lot of the gun violence is retaliations and people in the neighborhood not talking or telling the police who was involved or did the shooting and witness intimidation, all come together to the make the situation worse and we have to break that cycle. People need to feel they’ll be protected if they provide police with information.”
While this may not be news to anyone, according to the report, minority males constitute a disproportionate number of youths arrested and adjudicated, with 60 percent of all arrested youths identifying as part of a racial/ethnic minority group.
Also, according to the APA report, urban African American males are at substantially greater risk for involvement in gun-related homicides as perpetrators and as victims.
However, the majority of the infrequent but highly publicized shootings with multiple fatalities, such as those at Sandy Hook Elementary School or the Aurora, Colo., Movie Theater, have been committed by young White males.