Nine injured in separate shootings

July 20, 2009 4:59:09 PM PDT
Chicago police are investigating a string of shootings on the city's West Side.Nine people were shot in four separate incidents in the Austin community on Sunday.

A 9-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy were injured in a walk-by shooting on the 1000-block of North Leclair around 8 p.m. Sunday.

The nine-year-old is Cathy Haywood.

Cathy Haywood underwent surgery on Monday for a gunshot wound in her knee. Her mother is praying the girl will be able to walk and play again.

Renita Williams says her daughter was doing what 9-year-olds do when she was shot on Sunday night. With adult supervision, Cathy Hayward was playing outside before curfew when a someone walked by and opened fire.

West Side residents and community groups say shootings have become a daily reality.

"Cathy was hollering mom, I'm shot, I'm shot. I immediately ran to her," said Williams.

Renita Williams' 9-year-old daughter, Cathy Haywood, was shot in the leg. Williams showed ABC7 a cell phone picture she took of her daughter at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

After a weekend long family reunion, Cathy and several other children were outside playing in the Austin neighborhood when someone walked up and opened fire.

"I heard five to six rapid shots. Pow. Pow. Pow. I thought wait a minute and came to the window and saw people running," said Neda Johnson, witness.

Besides Cathy Haywood, a 17-year-old boy was shot.

"I came downstairs and my cousin was in the house with a gunshot wound to the leg," said Lonyea Powell, the17-year-old victim's cousin.

It was a busy night for Chicago Police. An hour earlier, and less than a mile away from where Cathy Hayward and the 17-year-old were shot, five young men were injured in a drive-by shooting by the end of the night. There were two more shootings making for a total of 9 people shot within four hours on the West Side.

The South Austin Coalition has been trying to combat violence on the West Side for years.

"To us it is not a surprise because it goes on regularly," said Antoine Day, South Austin Coalition.

Antoine Day is a former gang member who grew up there. He says summer violence will continue until the city comes up with more programs and facilities on the West Side. Day says there is nothing for young men to do.

"It is not just all about having somewhere to hang out. But it's about an opportunity to grow most guys have given up," said Day.

Renita Williams calls it sad and pathetic that kids can no longer be kids and play outside.

"My child was not outside after curfew. She wasn't left unattended. She was doing what 9-year-olds do," said Williams.

In the Austin neighborhood, the South Austin Coalition says there are several blue light cameras. But the coalition does not believe the cameras do anything to prevent violence.

Meantime, police say no arrests have been made in Sunday night's shootings.

Police say all four incidents, where nine were shot, are believed to be unrelated.


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