Relatives and supporters gathered in April for a vigil for 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams, who was fatally shot while in line at a McDonald’s drive-thru with her father. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be partly sunny with isolated showers and thunderstorms expected, along with a high near 86 degrees. Tonight brings a slight chance of more rain with a low around 69. Tomorrow, there’s a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high near 72.

Top story

‘Our kids are becoming extinct’: Chicago children are being killed by guns at far faster rate than years past

Children in Chicago are dying from gun violence at a rate three times higher than last year, according to our analysis.

Ten children aged 15 or younger have been shot dead so far this year, up from the three children fatally shot during the same time period in 2020, according to our records. And that’s more than the number killed in all of 2019, the data shows.

Out of nearly 1,500 shooting victims so far this year, at least 52 victims were 15 or younger, compared to 43 last year, an increase of 21%.

The increase in child shooting victims tracks closely with the overall spike in Chicago shootings — adults included — of 20.3%.

Read the full analysis from Tom Schuba, David Struett, Madeline Kenney, Mitch Dudek, and Sophie Sherry here.

More news you need

Federal prosecutors have arrested a 24-year-old Kenilworth man amid the ongoing investigation into the violent Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol. Christian Kulas is at least the ninth Illinoisan to be charged in the insurrection.

For the last 20 years, City Council’s Committee on Public Safety has been largely ineffective, according to a new Chicago Justice Project study. Roughly 80% of nearly 490 agenda items considered were unrelated to police oversight — only 15% had anything to do with CPD, the study shows.

A University of Chicago student killed in a January shooting spree will still receive his Ph.D. this week thanks to faculty and friends. Faculty pieced together Yiran Fan’s research and defended his dissertation in his honor, completing his Ph.D.

The Oak Park Fourth of July parade and fireworks show are off this year, with village leaders citing COVID-19 precautions. “Emerging from the pandemic is not a sprint,” Oak Park officials said.

As the restaurant industry emerges from the challenges of the pandemic, local burger joint R.J. Grunts turns 50. Columnist Neil Steinberg reflects on his first days checking out Lettuce Entertain You restaurants — there are now roughly 120 — as well as how the industry has changed.

Mariano’s founder Bob Mariano opened his latest offering today: Dom’s Kitchen and Market in Lincoln Park. It’s named after his mentor Dominick DiMatteo.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues tomorrow on Disney Plus with the debut of “Loki,” a series hailed by our Richard Roeper in a three-star review. It’s a great, original spinoff and another win for Marvel, Roeper writes.

A bright one

Aztec god watches over Pilsen in brilliantly colored mural buzzing with hummingbirds

It isn’t just parents who watch over the kids playing at Harrison Park in Pilsen.

They also have the watchful eyes on them of the Aztec god Xōchipilli, looking on from a towering mural painted across the street at 1758 W. 19th St. by the artist known as SENKOE.

In Aztec mythology, Xōchipilli is the god of love, summer, flowers, dancing and various festivities.

Given the chance to paint a mural on a wall next to the park, SENKOE says he decided to paint Xōchipilli and portray the figure in his youth because he thought kids could relate to that.

Provided
The artist who goes by the name SENKOE portrayed the Aztec god Xōchipilli as a child in this mural completed in 2020 because the wall on which he painted it is near a playground in Pilsen.

SENKOE says he has always liked to use such ancient references when creating his Mexican-inspired art, to “dig a little deeper” into his roots.

A native of Mexico City, SENKOE worked on this mural, as he often does, with his manager and fellow artist Valentina Pinci, 26. They met about three years ago in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, where they live, though they are frequent visitors to Chicago.

“I feel people really appreciate this kind of bringing back these old stories to our modern day because I feel people have been disconnected from their identity and from their roots,” says SENKOE, whose work with art dates to his childhood and graffiti. “Through my art, they are able to then reconnect with what otherwise would be lost.”

Lu Calzada has more on SENKOE’s work here.

From the press box

Kris Bryant has been so good this season it’s forcing the Cubs into some tough decisions, Rick Telander writes.
What do you think of the Cubs’ new City Connect uniforms? The team will debut them Saturday against the rival Cardinals.
James Wade wanted the Sky to emphasize defense this season, but now it’s coming at the expense of an offense that’s gone from first to worst in field goal percentage.

Your daily question ☕

It’s National Best Friend Day! We want to know — how did you meet yours?

Reply to this email (please include your first name and where you live) and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: Do you plan to go out to bars and restaurants as much as you did before the pandemic? Here’s what some of you said…

“Yes absolutely. I realized how much I took hanging out with friends for granted and doing more work than play. It’s time for balance.” — Jimmy Vidaurri

“Absolutely. We need to go out even more. All these small businesses are hurting and we need to support them more than ever so they don’t face bankruptcy.” — Vasudev Joshi

“Nope, I decided I like sobriety. There’s a big world out there to see.” — Guy Williams

“I plan to be out about the same to cultural performance events (theater, shows, concerts, exhibits). For restaurants and bars, I will try to limit the dollars spent to only quality, interesting, experiential food and limit the take out and casual dining as I have rediscovered the pleasure, satisfaction and price convenience of cooking your own food.” — Ovidiu George Pristavu

“No, because I amazed myself at how much money I saved.” — John Buck

“I plan to be out and about probably more because I didn’t realize how much I took it for granted. But will mask up if there are a lot of people in a smaller space. I also plan to have hand sanitizer on me for the foreseeable future. It’s been great not having so much as the sniffles for the past year with the mask/hand sanitizer combo! Vaccinated and ready to go!” — Cheryl Wisniewski

“No. Not until I am sure this has gotten to the stage of any other virus. There will be people out carrying the virus unmasked and won’t care and I also don’t believe that it is suddenly safe to rush out into huge crowds all of a sudden just from last month when it wasn’t supposed to be wise to do so just because the government now gives it the ok.” — Patty Gayden

“I plan to go much more than I did before, because I’ve been reminded that no restaurant lasts forever. Many bars and restaurants that I always said I’d go to sometime in the future have closed for good due to being, quite understandably, unable to weather this storm.” — Julia Harris

“Probably not, if it’s something this pandemic and lockdown has truly taught me is that I hate people.” — Ana Argueta

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