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Crime wave batters U.S., cities brace for the notoriously violent holiday weekend

The crime wave across the U.S. exploded ahead of the notoriously violent Fourth of July weekend.

Major cities are bracing for the long weekend after a string of violent crimes over the past week, including in neighborhoods once considered safe.

In Chicago, an early morning shooting on Friday in the city’s downtown left two people dead and three others wounded. The incident marked the second shooting in as many months in the Loop, an iconic area of Chicago lined with skyscrapers and normally bustling with the nine-to-five crowd.

Homicides in the police district where the shooting took place are up 100% over last year, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Shootings are up 24%.

In Newark, New Jersey, nine people were shot, including a teenager, in a drive-by shooting Thursday night outside a bodega.

In eastern Kentucky, two police officers were killed when a man opened fire on them as they attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Thursday night.

A 6-year-old girl and a man were shot at a home in a quiet Maryland neighborhood outside Washington this week.

Earlier this week a 20-year-old woman pushing a stroller was shot at point-blank range in the head in New York’s notoriously wealthy Upper East Side.

The shocking incidents occurred amid a nationwide rise in crime, which has become a campaign issue that is expected to hurt Democrats in the midterm elections.

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