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Two Chicago police officers shot and wounded while trying to break up crowd

The shadow of the Willis Tower, left, falls on Lake Michigan and passing storm clouds as the setting sun lights up the Chicago skyline as seen from the Willis Tower Tuesday, June 29, 2021 (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar) 
Associated Press Reporter

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

The shooting 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.

In the shooting that wounded the officers, one 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.

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 was not 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 US 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.

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