CHICAGO — A 17-year-old boy has been charged with second-degree murder after a 16-year-old boy was fatally shot near “The Bean” sculpture in downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park, which is among the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
The shooting prompted a curfew banning unaccompanied minors, in an effort to combat violence. Officials announced Sunday that minors will not be allowed in the park after 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday without an adult, but they did not comment on how the curfew will be enforced.
The 17-year-old, who was taken into custody following Saturday evening’s shooting, also faces charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated battery, police announced Sunday night. He was due in juvenile court Monday.
The 16-year-old was shot in the chest near the giant, mirrored structure and was pronounced dead at a hospital, police said.
Another teen, who was allegedly armed with a ghost gun — a weapon that does not have a serial number and can’t be traced — was arrested in connection to the shooting, police said.
In total, 26 minors and five adults were arrested during the gathering in the park on Saturday evening. A total of eight guns were confiscated and five gun arrests were made, police said.
“We must also have zero tolerance for young people carrying firearms or settling petty disputes with acts of violence,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “We all must condemn this behavior in the strongest terms possible.”
Hundreds of people were at the park earlier Saturday as part of demonstrations around the U.S. against the recently leaked draft opinion that suggests the Supreme Court is prepared to overturn the nationwide right to abortion. It is unclear if the teen who was shot had taken part in the 1 p.m. demonstration, however participants had largely dispersed by late afternoon.
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.
“The Bean” sculpture is a popular tourist attraction in downtown Chicago. It is formally known as “Cloud Gate,” but it came to be known as “The Bean” for its bean-like shape.