Two people were killed and 11 others injured in gun violence overnight across Chicago, hours before the city is set to graduate its largest class of new police recruits in years in an effort to tackle the spike in violence.
Graduating rookies already have been tapped to patrol hot zones where the most crime takes place, but it will be months before they hit the streets to battle the city's epidemic of gun violence.
It's part of the Chicago Police Department's plan to beef up forces on the street via a targeted effort called "Operation Impact" that police leadership say is already working. Supt. Garry McCarthy last month touted a 43 percent decrease in April murders and said the city saw 84 fewer murders in the past seven months.
Still, he said, "we're going to have good days, we're going to have bad days."
Veterans out in high-crime zones had a very busy Tuesday night. At West 63rd and South May streets in Englewood, police said two men were shot and one was killed. A 36-year-old was shot in the shoulder and a 22-year-old was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital.
Police said the men were in a car driving down the street when a gunman came out of a gangway and opened fire. Police were still looking for that shooter Wednesday morning.
In a separate incident, police say a 21-year-old man was driving in the area of South Damen Avenue and West 78th Street on the city's West Side when he was shot in the neck.
The man made it a few more blocks to 74th Street where he was pronounced dead. Police are still looking for the shooter in this incident as well.
After Wednesday's police graduation, the largest since 2005, the department said it will have 105 more officers to join foot patrols. Before they can hit city streets, though, they must undergo 12 weeks of training. That means Chicago won't see them until late this summer.
Tuesday night's wave of shootings wasn't the first of the spring season.
Ronald Baskin, a relative of long-time Chicago peace activist Hal Baskin, was one of two people killed last weekend. Seven others were wounded in weekend gun violence. Police said Baskin was gunned down after visiting his great-grandmother's home in the Englewood neighborhood for Mother's Day.
Less than two weeks ago, as temperatures reached the 80s, three people were killed and 20 others were wounded in shootings across the city. About a dozen were shot in 12 hours, police said.
Tuesday temperatures reached 88 degrees, but McCarthy this week downplayed weather's effect on crime.
"Weather is an influencer on crime. It's not a cause, nor does it prevent crime," McCarthy said at a 9th District news conference held to showcase the latest stash of illegal guns confiscated by police officers.
"Obviously there's more crime in the summertime, and that's because of a number of things. Kids aren't in school, there's more people in the street, and sometimes we have to realize that that's not weather -- that's seasonal," McCarthy said.