"Everybody was out here barbecuing. It was nice outside," LaTonya McClendon, the victim's cousin, said.
But around 11 o'clock, she says, a man walked up to a group of people hanging out on the street and started shooting. Her three cousins, all brothers, were shot, including Demond Stansbury, 30, who was fatally injured. Stansbury leaves behind his wife Sarah and their 14-month old baby girl, Simone, who was born with a congenital heart defect.
"Good man, hard worker, dedicated father, son, all that. Seriously, a good person. No gangs, no drugs, none of that. Went to work every day. His life revolved around his family, always," McClendon said.
Stansbury was one of eight people shot dead over the weekend. The victims were all men in their twenties and thirties, and though five of the shootings appear to be gang related, Stansbury's death is just one more example of innocents caught in the crossfire.
The sixth shooting, in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood, took the lives of two men, in what appears to have started as a domestic argument. The first man killed was the intended target. The second, 31-year-old Quentin Chaires was apparently shot as he tried to come to his friend's defense. He would have been 32 next week.
The shootings come not a day after Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis praised the department's efforts in lowering the homicide rate.
"We're down about 15 percent so far this year. We have a more comprehensive approach to our problem. We have a specialized unit making it harder for gang members to move around, a gang enforcement unit to monitor where gang members are going," Weis said yesterday.
Chicago Police had no comment today regarding the weekend's violence, but Weis did say yesterday that sometime this week they will announce a new set of initiatives aimed at curtailing gun violence during the summer months.
Police are questioning a person of interest in the most recent incident, but so far have no suspects in the other seven cases.