For the third consecutive year, violence marred celebrations that broke out when the Chicago Bulls won the NBA championship. Two people were killed and nearly 700 arrested as the city sent thousands of extra police into the streets.
Random gunfire was heard across the city late Sunday and early Monday after the Bulls beat the Phoenix Suns, 99-98, to win their third consecutive title.
Said Mayor Richard M. Daley: “There’s thugs and there’s criminals and
At one intersection, a crowd pulled drivers from their cars, shot one man to death and stabbed another.
Julio Castillo, an 18-year-old passenger in one of the cars, was killed. His friend, 17-year-old Oswaldo Arroyo, was stabbed in the back and was recovering at home on Monday.
“They used the victory as an excuse to go out and do what they want,” Arroyo said of the attackers.
Rosalind Slaughter, 26, died when she was hit by a stray bullet while standing on a porch outside her South Side home.
“It’s just senseless,” Sgt. Wilson McGee said.
Despite the violence, the city said a victory party featuring all of the Bulls would go on as scheduled today in Grant Park.
The city put thousands of extra police officers on patrol trying to prevent a repeat of the 1992 riots, when more than 1,000 people were arrested and 107 officers were injured.
Many Chicago residents decided to celebrate at home because they feared a repeat of last year’s destruction.
“I just didn’t want to be caught in the crossfire,” said Yvette Pierce, a cashier at the Daley Center. “The killing and looting were unnecessary and senseless. To me, that was not a celebration; it was destruction.”