chicago cops (body on ground)
*The alarming rate of firearm-related killings in urban neighborhoods has been overshadowed by the tension simmering between supporters of law enforcement and enraged African Americans.

As thousands of activists across the nation continue to speak out against the brutalization of minorities by police, a surge of black violence recently erupted in the city of Chicago.

Nine people were killed and at least 12 others wounded in shootings across the Chicago area last Wednesday, including an 11-year-old boy slain by random gunfire. These incidents highlight an ongoing epidemic of senseless violence ripping through the black community’s fragile underbelly. Wednesday was the deadliest day in the city in over a decade. It approaches the peak of 10 that occurred on July 5, 2003, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The latest fatal shooting happened about 11:35 p.m. in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side.

• Dan Rance, 23, was outside in the 700 block of North Long when a gunman approached and opened fire, Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said. Rance, who lived in the same block, was shot in the chest and torso. He was later transported to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said.

• Roughly two hours earlier, a 19-year-old male was killed in an Englewood shooting on the South Side. At 9:45 p.m., Jimmy Tripp was in the 800 block of West 68th Street when someone walked up and shot him several times before running off, authorities said. Tripp, who lived in the 7300 block of South Emerald, was pronounced dead at the scene.

• Less than an hour earlier, a 60-year-old man was shot dead in South Shore. He was found lifeless shortly after 9 p.m. with a gunshot wound to the head in the hallway of a building in the 6800 block of South Merrill. A police source said the attack might have been narcotics-related.

For more information on the shootings, visit www.nbcchicago.com.