Teenage boy gunned down near Chicago tourist attraction

Chicago authorities say a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed near ‘The Bean’ in Millennium Park on Saturday

CHICAGO — A 16-year-old boy was fatally shot near “The Bean” sculpture in downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park, authorities said.

Police said the teenager was shot in the chest around 7.30pm on Saturday near the popular tourist attraction. Police have not yet identified the boy.

He was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

At least two suspects were taken in for questioning and at least two weapons were recovered, authorities said.

An investigation is underway. Police did not provide additional information.

“This senseless loss of life is completely unacceptable,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Tonight a mother is grieving, mourning the loss of her child and searching for answers.”

She said further steps will be taken “to help prevent such events from happening in the future”, adding that details will be provided at a later date. His press release referred to young people coming to the city center, although he did not provide details on the relevance of this.

“We must also have zero tolerance for young people carrying guns or settling small disputes with acts of violence,” the mayor’s statement said. “We must all condemn this behavior in the strongest possible terms.”

Hundreds of people were at the park earlier on Saturday as part of demonstrations across the United States protesting a recently leaked draft opinion that suggests the Supreme Court is ready to strike down the constitutional right to abortion. It is unclear whether the teenager who was shot had participated in the protest, which began around 1 p.m. The participants had dispersed widely by late afternoon.

Police cleared and closed the park after the shooting. It is not known when it will reopen.

The shooting comes amid an upsurge in deadly violence in the city in recent years. This year, Chicago has recorded 779 shootings and 194 homicides, compared to 898 shootings and 207 homicides during the same period in 2021, according to figures last updated by the Chicago Police Department on May 8.

Chicago and some other US cities reported dramatic spikes in total homicides last year. Chicago’s 797 homicides in 2021 – its highest toll for a year in a quarter century – eclipsed the totals in the two largest US cities, topping Los Angeles’ tally by 400 and New York’s by nearly 300.

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