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Worries About Gang Violence Persist In Little Village After 2 Fatal Weekend Shootings

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It's been deemed another gang flare-up in Little Village – overnight Saturday into Sunday, there were two separate shootings in the neighborhood.

In one shooting, around 11:37 p.m. Saturday, a 20-year-old man was standing on the street in the 2200 block of South Whipple Street at Cermak Road, when a black sedan went by and someone inside fired shots.

The victim was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital with multiple gunshot wounds to his body, and ended up being pronounced dead at the hospital.

The other shooting happened at 2:56 a.m. Sunday, A 20-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man were back-seat passengers in a car headed south on California Avenue at 31st Street and were stopped at a red light, police said.

A dark sport-utility vehicle pulled up and someone fired shots, striking both the man and woman, police said.

The SUV fled east on 31st Street, while the drive of the vehicle with the gunshot victims drove them to St. Anthony's Hospital, police said.

The woman suffered a gunshot wound to the hip and was listed in fair condition. But the man suffered gunshot wounds to his torso, back, and leg, and was pronounced dead, police said.

Over the last few months, some in Little Village have been asking if the latest violence is more than isolated incidents.

Ald. George Cardenas (12th) said the victim of the Whipple Street shooting was a "well-known gang member," and the one at 31st and California was also gang-related.

By phone, Cardenas called the shootings tragic. But are they flare-ups in gang activity, or representative of a worsening fatal pattern?

"Some people would say that it is, because they're the ones that see it," Cardenas told CBS 2's Jeremy Ross, "They're the victims."

On Halloween, gang violence interrupted a family out trick-or-treating in at 26th Street and Lawndale Avenue.

That time, a 7-year-old was shot in the neck and chest. A child in a costume found herself in a hospital gown – and fortunately, Gisselle Zamago is on the road to recovery.

Back in November, another shooting in Little Village claimed a man's life.

Nurse Frank Aguilar, 32, was heading out to do laundry on the night of Tuesday, Nov. 12. He was in his scrubs when gunfire from a gray sport-utility vehicle took his life.

And on Dec. 14, Angie Monroy, 16, was walking home from work when she was killed in a drive-by shooting near 23rd and Rockwell streets.

Police said she was caught in the crossfire of gang violence in the shooting and was not the intended target.

A 15-year-old boy is being held in juvenile custody on attempted murder and aggravated battery in the Halloween shooting that wounded Gisselle.

In Aguliar's death, suspected getaway driver Armando Lopez, 19, has been charged with first-degree murder. v Lopez was arrested after a car chase from a chase from Little Village all the way to West Chatham. a few days later.

But no one has been charged with pulling the trigger. Police said in December that they were calling a 13-year-old boy a "person of interest" in the Aguilar murder, but no further charges have been issued.

No one has been charged in Monroy's death.

Shortly after the latest shootings on Saturday night and Sunday morning, Chicago Police held a roll call in the neighborhood to strengthen police presence.

There have been at least four killings this year alone in the Ogden (10th) District, which includes Little Village.

Cardenas said the CPD will dedicate more resources to Little Village and the surrounding areas following the latest fatalities.

"The 10th District is going to see more detectives that are being reassigned to the 10th district," he said.

The alderman added the area is working with violence interrupters, essentially people brought in to help ease gang tensions.

The hope is that such efforts will play a role in preventing further violence.

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