With 18 Killings in 24 Hours, Chicago Faced Its Most Deadly Weekend Since 1961

85 people were shot, 24 fatally, during Chicago's most violent weekend since 1961.
85 people were shot, 24 fatally, during Chicago's most violent weekend since 1961. (Getty)

Chicago saw it's deadliest day in at least six decades when 18 people were killed within a 24-hour span between May 30 and May 31, according to data published from the University of Chicago’s crime lab Monday. The grim milestone came on the heels of violent protests that took place in the city the day before calling for justice after the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.

The city’s death toll includes 21-year-old Gregory Lewis, who was one of six people killed on May 30. Lewis was riding in a vehicle that morning before he was gunned down, officials said. Mustafa Abdullah, Lewis’ former secondary school dean, reminisced on his special relationship with his former student.

Abdulla and Lewis eventually fell out of touch but Abdulla said Lewis wanted to start a rap career. “He was a really good kid,” he said.

Teyonna Lofton was one of many who was injured on May 31. The 18-year-old finished her senior year of high school and her family was hosting a graduation parade to celebrate. Later in the day, Lofton took a trip to a gas station and while she was waiting in a line outside of the store, someone inside of an SUV opened fire on the crowd.

Lofton was hit in the arm and tried to call 911 for help but no one answered or responded. She now has to attend months of physical therapy after losing feeling in a part of her arm since the bullet struck an artery. 

Angelo Bronson, a 36-year-old father of two young children, was standing outside when someone in a passing car fired shots, hitting Bronson in the chest and leg. He was pronounced dead less than an hour later. Bronson’s longtime friend Ali Evans explained how hard it is to talk about his friend in past tense and how quick Bronson was to laugh. 

John Tiggs walked into a store to pay his phone bill on May 31, his family said, before someone in the store opened fire in the midst of widespread looting in the area. The father of three young children died after being struck in the abdomen. “John had a big heart,” his aunt Marie Marsham told the Chicago Sun-Times. 

Two young women, both 18-year-old students, were among the many victims that weekend. Lazarra Daniels, a high school student, was found dead. Keishanay Bolden was a student at Western Illinois University. She studied law enforcement and justice administration in hopes of becoming a lawyer, according to her mother Crystal Harris. "She was friendly, everybody loved her,” Harris told WGEM.

Danyal Jones, 30, was standing at her front porch when a man walked up to her and fired shots, according to Chicago police. She was struck in the chest and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Robert English, 24, was shot to death while riding in a vehicle when someone opened fire and was struck in the head. Bernardino Mercado, 26, was fatally shot in the chest after a suspect jumped out of their car. Fernando De Leon, 34, was also fatally shot in the chest.

Noel Dominguez, 26, was pronounced dead after police officers found him with multiple gunshot wounds. David L. Green was found unresponsive by police officers with a gunshot wound on the left side of his body and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gregory A. Lewis, 21, was riding in a vehicle when someone shot at him from a passing car; after being taken to a hospital, he was pronounced dead. The weekend’s first homicide left Deonte Fleming, 23, dead after someone in a vehicle shot him in the chest and side.

The next highest number of murders for a single day in Chicago occurred on Aug. 4, 1991, when 13 people were killed, according to the crime lab, which does not have data for years prior to 1961. 

Chicago  experienced its most violent weekend from 7 p.m. Friday, May 29, to 11 p.m. Sunday, May 31, when 85 people were shot, 24 of them fatally

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