CHICAGO -- Just halfway into the Memorial Day weekend, nearly as many people had been shot across Chicago as the entire holiday weekend last year, with police promising to step up patrols even further, CBS Chicago reported.
Chicago police already had planned to have extra officers on the streets -- in squad cars, on foot, and on bicycles -- in an effort to curb the violence, but with 40 people already shot through early Sunday, police said they would do even more.
First Deputy Police Supt. John Escalante said the department deployed thousands of additional officers this weekend, including many on the West Side, which has seen a spike in shootings.
"It's a struggle for us, but we will -- going into today, through tomorrow -- we will be putting extra resources in the 11th District, because they have certainly had an unacceptable level of shootings Friday and Saturday," he said.
Police said at least 19 of the people shot this weekend were in or within a half-mile of the 11th District, which is typically one of the most violent in the city.
Escalante said police also would increase their presence on Lake Shore Drive, after a shooting near Fullerton Avenue early Saturday left a 15-year-old girl dead and a 28-year-old man wounded.
About 24 hours later, a 32-year-old woman and her 43-year-old boyfriend were hit by a truck on Lake Shore Drive while fleeing an armed robbery in the Gold Coast neighborhood. The woman died.
Escalante said police are committed to stemming the violence.
"I'm confident that we will be able to turn this around. The superintendent is ... I'm working during the day today; he'll be out tonight. Basically the same thing tomorrow. We're asking the men and women of the Chicago Police Department to step up and do their best, and so we're going to be out here with them," Escalante said.
In 2015, there were 43 people shot during the entire Memorial Day weekend, although far more of those shootings turned deadly than have so far this year. Four people have been killed in shootings so far this weekend, compared to 12 for the entire Memorial Day weekend last year, CBS Chicago reported.
Escalante said a small group of people police are watching -- what the department calls its strategic subjects list -- is responsible for the majority of the bloodshed.
"I think people have to realize it's a big city, but it's a beautiful city, and it really is a safe city, it's just -- as we've said before -- it's about 1,500 people that we know are really driving the violence. Those are the people we're trying to concentrate on," he said.
The CPD strategic subject list was created a few years ago, and consists of people who are most likely to shoot someone or be shot soon, based on a number of factors, including past arrests, shootings, gang affiliations, and previous contact with police.