Group marches against violence

April 6, 2009 5:26:07 PM PDT
Community members marched against violence in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood following the death of another teenager. Tommie Williams, 18, was shot and killed last week. He is the 31st Chicago Public School student killed during this school year.

Members of the Woodlawn Organization as well as the group Ceasefire says there's an escalating gang turf war going on in the community. Last week's shooting may be related to that and they were out on Monday, hoping to try to prevent more violence.

Ceasefire volunteers try to recruit area residents in the Woodlawn neighborhood, not far from the scene of last week's shooting. Police suspect a gang dispute led to the shooting death of Williams, a student at Chicago VocationalAcademy. He was the fourth C.V.S. student to be killed this school year. And members of the Woodlawn organization say they've got to find a way to stop the violence in their community.

"Communities have to say that enough is enough. And we're an organized community. And this rash of shootings in the last 30 days has brought us, I think, even closer to joining with other forces to bring an end to the shootings," said Leon Finney, Woodlawn Organization, chairman.

On Monday, the group marched through the neighborhood to draw attention to the violence they say is a citywide problem.

Williams was with friends, a block from home Thursday evening, when the shots rang out. Organizers of the rally say, regardless of the motives the shooters had, the community needs to get involved to provide young people with other options- not only to resolve conflicts but to avoid them.

"I'm very much concerned about getting through this summer when literally tens of thousands of high school students will be out of school with no jobs," said Finney.

The Williams shooting had no connection to the school. The police tell ABC7 that they are working on the investigation at this point but they still have no one in custody.


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