Brian Stablyk
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The violence in Chicago has outpaced last year’s statistics.

Mariya Moseley
Feb, 14, 2017

Two young girls were caught in the latest crossfire during Chicago’s crippling gun violence epidemic. Police report they’re both in critical condition.

According to ABC7, Takiya Holmes, 11, was struck by a stray bullet while sitting in the backseat of a parked van. The second victim was identified as 12-year-old Kanari Bowers, who was outside at a school playground when she was shot in the back of the head.

Reporters said Holmes told her cousin weeks before the incident that she feared getting shot.

“This is too close to home. That was a wake-up call [that] you can be anywhere at anytime and this happen,” a neighborhood resident told reporters.

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In separate South Side neighborhoods, the girls were shot approximately an hour apart on Saturday night. The pre-teens were part of a devastatingly violent weekend, which included five dead and a total of 16 hurt, according to ABC7.

The number of homicides in the city this year is lower than the same time last year, though the number of people shot is higher, The Chicago Tribune reports. As of Monday, there were 69 homicides this year compared to 78 around this time last year. However, at least 403 people have been shot so far this year, while 363 people were shot last February.

Police urge anyone with information about the shootings to come forward; there is a $2,000 reward for info about the shooter [and/or] shooters. Officials have no one in custody and are still investigating both incidents.