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2 Chicago officers shot, wounded trying to break up crowd

July 5, 2021 GMT
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Police gather outside Stroger Hospital where two officers were brought after being shot while dispersing a crowd on the 100 block of North Long Avenue during the Fourth of July holiday weekend in the early hours of Monday, July 5, 2021, in Chicago. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune via AP)
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Police gather outside Stroger Hospital where two officers were brought after being shot while dispersing a crowd on the 100 block of North Long Avenue during the Fourth of July holiday weekend in the early hours of Monday, July 5, 2021, in Chicago. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune via AP)

Two Chicago police officers were shot and wounded early Monday while trying to break up a crowd following Fourth of July gatherings, authorities said.

The shooting about 1:45 a.m. on the city’s West Side happened less than an hour after a drive-by shooting in Washington Park on the city’s South Side left two people dead and four others wounded.

Between Friday night and early Monday morning, 12 people had been fatally shot in Chicago and at least 40 more suffered gunshot wounds, according to department statistics. Monday is considered part of the long holiday weekend, so final statistics won’t be available until Tuesday.

At the same time, with the shooting that wounded the officers, the department so far this year has seen 33 of its officers either shot at or shot compared with 22 during the same period last year.

One of the officers wounded early Monday was hit in the foot and the other was struck in the thigh, police said. They were taken to a hospital and their injuries were not life-threatening, police said.

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A statement from police said they had responded to several large groups in the city, resulting in multiple arrests.

“There’s been a lot of large crowd gatherings tonight, a lot of celebratory fireworks going off, kind of spontaneous,” police Superintendent David Brown said. “They were dispersing a crowd when they heard shots and felt pain.”

It wasn’t immediately known whether the officers were targeted or if they were struck by random shots.

Chicago has seen a number of mass shootings in recent weeks, stoking broader concerns about a spike in U.S. gun violence. Statistics released last week by Chicago police show fewer killings but more shootings in the city so far this year than the same period a year ago.

In the Washington Park shooting, police said in statement that two men died. A 12-year-old girl was in critical condition, a 13-year-old boy was in stable condition and a woman was in good condition, police said. Another woman was treated at the scene for two graze wounds.

No one was immediately taken into custody in either shooting.