CHICAGO (AP) — A 16-year-old boy was fatally shot near “The Bean” sculpture in Millennium Park, authorities said.
Police said the teen was shot in the chest at about 7:30 p.m. 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 ongoing. Police did not provide additional information.
“This senseless loss of life is utterly unacceptable,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Tonight, a mother is grief-stricken, mourning the loss of her child and searching for answers.”
She said new measures will be taken “to help prevent events like this from happening in the future,” adding that details will be provided later. Her news release referred to young people coming to the downtown area, though it didn’t provide details about how that might be relevant.
“We must also have zero tolerance for young people carrying firearms or settling petty disputes with acts of violence,” the mayor’s statement said. “We all must condemn this behavior in the strongest terms possible.”
Hundreds of people were at the park earlier on Saturday as part of demonstrations across the U.S. protesting a recently leaked draft opinion that suggests the Supreme Court is prepared to overturn the constitutional right to abortion. It is unclear if the teen who was shot had taken part in the demonstration, which began around 1 p.m. Participants had largely dispersed by late afternoon.
Police cleared and closed the park following the shooting. It is unclear when it will reopen.
The shooting comes amid a surge in deadly violence in the city in recent years. This year, Chicago has recorded 779 shooting incidents 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 U.S. cities reported dramatic spikes in homicide totals last year. Chicago’s 797 homicides in 2021 — its highest toll for any year in a quarter century — eclipsed the totals in the two bigger U.S. cities, surpassing Los Angeles’ tally by 400 and New York's by nearly 300.