As she headed out the door Sunday morning, Adrianne Wilberton put on a brave face. It was time to tell her son the news, and she didn't want him hearing it from anyone else.
But her composure unraveled as she walked toward the car, a barrage of neighbors hugging her on the way out of her apartment. By the time she reached the front lawn, the mother of six was in tears.
"Our son is dead! Oh Jesus!" the 57-year-old screamed, referring to Cortez, one of her three sons, who was killed earlier that morning on Chicago's West Side. "Oh my God! Oh my God! We were just talking."
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- PHOTOS: Photos: Weekend gun violence
- Police shooting
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- West 72nd Street & South Artesian Avenue, Chicago, IL 60629, USA
- 2500 West 74th Street, Chicago, IL 60629, USA
- 3400 West Walnut Street, Chicago, IL 60624, USA
- 3100 South Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60623, USA
- 2600 South Ridgeway Avenue, Chicago, IL 60623, USA
- 7400 South Parnell Avenue, Chicago, IL 60620, USA
- 7700 South Homan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60652, USA
- 9400 South Loomis Street, Chicago, IL 60620, USA
- 1658 South Springfield Avenue, Chicago, IL 60623, USA
- 4100 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60639, USA
- 952 East 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
- 200 South Keeler Avenue, Chicago, IL 60624, USA
- 2000 West 56th Street, Chicago, IL 60636, USA
- 500 North Leclaire Avenue, Chicago, IL 60644, USA
At least 34 people were shot — nine of them fatally — Saturday afternoon through Father's Day Sunday, stretching from 94th Street and Loomis Avenue on the South Side up to about North Avenue and North Pulaski Road on the Northwest Side, according to authorities. The youngest person killed during one of the bloodiest weekends in Chicago this year, 15-year-old Michael Westley, was fatally shot by a police officer Sunday night.
Shootings from Friday afternoon into Saturday left another 13 people shot, 1 fatally. The combined tally resulted in 47 people shot, and eight killed this weekend. Last year at about the same time, there were 53 people shot, nine fatally in one weekend.
The rash of violent crime came as Chicago has seen a large dip in overall homicide and shooting numbers so far this year.
When asked whether this weekend's shooting numbers cast doubt on the department's crime-fighting strategies, Chicago police spokesman Adam Collins insisted they are working, noting the city has so far in 2013 posted its lowest homicide totals in years.
Collins also reiterated a position that police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has expressed publicly throughout the year when discussing the department's crime-fighting efforts. "There's going to be good days, and there's going to be bad days, which is why we've been calling this progress, not victory," said Collins, who pointed out drops in overall crime.
Across the city, reminders of the bloody weekend literally stained some of Chicago's streets. In the city's Little Village neighborhood, 15 lit memorial candles stood in blood where Ricardo Herrera, 21, was fatally wounded and two others shot on the 2500 block of South Ridgeway Avenue.
About five miles away, a long trail of blood remained splattered in a Northwest Side alley — and on the bumper of a nearby car — where 16-year-old Kevin Rivera tried to run from a gunman on a bicycle, authorities told the Tribune.
Rivera's family was planning to move in two weeks from their sometimes violent section of the West Humboldt Park neighborhood and a social worker was enrolling the teenager in the city's summer jobs program.
But late Saturday night, someone shot Rivera in the 4100 block of West North Avenue, police said. He attempted to run but collapsed a few feet away. The boy, who lived a few blocks away from the scene, was pronounced dead about 1:35 a.m. Sunday at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, authorities said.
Grief-stricken and exhausted, Kevin Rivera's family said little about Rivera or his death. "I can't believe it," said Rivera's mother, Maria Figueroa.
One of six siblings, Rivera could be polite and soft-spoken at home, even as he became increasingly embroiled in neighborhood gang conflicts and faced juvenile court charges. Last year, he was shot in the leg, and he was briefly detained in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and placed on juvenile court probation for carrying an unloaded gun in the neighborhood, according to interviews with relatives.
His younger sister Yajaira Rivera last year was profiled in a Tribune investigation about elementary students who missed months of school each year. Rivera also missed weeks of school each year at Nobel Elementary School, where he earned an A in 7th grade art class but failed basic courses and had run-ins with teachers and staff, school records and interviews show.
In a brief Tribune interview last year, Rivera said he had tried to register at Orr Academy High School, but left after a couple of days because he didn't feel safe there. "There is a lot of tension," he said.
Social worker Emily Runyan, who lived in the neighborhood and befriended Rivera's family, was recently working to enroll Rivera in the city's One Summer Chicago teen jobs program.
"I don't want to memorialize him because he made some bad choices, but Kevin was a kind, quiet and sensitive kid," Runyan said. "I truly believe he wanted more for his life, but was a victim of many things."
One of the men killed — 24-year-old Antwon Johnson — was shot by police early Sunday in the Lawndale neighborhood after he raised a 9-millimeter handgun in their direction after bailing from a moving car and falling, police said.
His mother disputed that account. "It's not true," said Stacy Liberty. "How could someone have a gun and point it to you if they're already on the ground?"