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14 Shot, 4 Dead In 12-Hour Period; Chicago Radio Stations Launch #PutTheGunsDown Tonight

By Jon Graef in News on Jun 1, 2014 5:30PM

The new month started off on a horrific note as overnight shootings citywide wounded 14 people and killed four, including an aspiring rapper.

The total violence this weekend has left 5 dead and 15 wounded, according to the Sun-Times.

The most notable shooting took place in the Austin neighborhood, where the Tribune reports a 17-year old boy was shot and killed, and five women were wounded. Other shootings took place in the Hermosa, Irving Park, and Chatham neighborhoods, respectively.

The aspiring rapper who was shot and killed, McArthur Swindle (whose performance name was OTF Nunu), is reportedly the cousin of Chicago rapper Lil' Durk.

DNAInfo has the circumstances surrounding Nunu's death:

Around 3:20 p.m. Saturday, Swindle was seated in an SUV in a parking lot in the 700 block of East 87th Street when someone approached on foot and fired shots. Swindle then crashed the SUV into a nearby storefront window, said Officer Amina Greer, a police spokeswoman.

Swindle, of the 7200 block of South Halsted Avenue in Englewood, was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:25 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

Despite the despondent circumstances surrounding these shootings— which caused one victim's sister to cry out, 'What is Rahm Emanuel going to do about this?'—there may be a way forward.

Specifically, four Chicago radio stations are banding together to launch #putthegunsdown, an anti-violence measure along the lines of Chance The Rapper's #SaveChicago campaign.

Here's what the Sun-Times has to say about the effort:

From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday night several rival stations are joining for the first of four simulcasts with a focus on stemming gun violence. It’s part of a city-wide movement called Put the Guns Down and the stations involved in this particular simulcast include 107.5-WGCI, Power 92.3, Soul 106.3, V103 and WVON 1690 AM.

“If you switch stations you’re going hear the same message,” says WGCI’s Tony Sculfield, who‘s seen the violence in Chicago ebb and flow over the last 15 years he’s been on the radio station. “No matter where you go, you won’t be able to escape the message. Both the victims and the shooters are listening at the same time. And if people can see us putting aside our differences to work together - we’re competitors in business - maybe they can [put down the guns."]

We can only hope the message gets through to those who need to hear it.