At least 40 shot, six killed over holiday weekend

May 29, 2012 3:43:50 AM PDT
In some neighborhoods in Chicago, the hot Memorial Day weekend was also a violent, sometimes deadly, few days.

At least 40 people were shot, and at least six people were killed. Monday night, several mothers who have lost family members to shootings were talking about violence in the city.

What mothers, relatives, and activists who have been deeply affected by street violence have seen so far this weekend makes many of them feel sick, knowing more families will be experiencing what they have gone through. That is why they were out Monday handing out leaflets.

"It's an insult when we find that community residents - people that are on the streets - can see a license place, can see a person shoot another person and just don't say anything," said activist Andrew Holmes.

Among the shooting victims over the weekend is Dejah Smith, 7, who was playing in front of her home when a bullet struck her in the arm. Pamela Hester Jones lost her son, Lazarus, five years ago. Police have yet to find his killer, despite a $10,000 reward.

"The crime must stop. It's very painful. I don't just cry out for my son. I cry out for all the parents and all of our youth," said Hester-Jones.

Elizabeth Perez says she got to see justice for her son Joseph, who was killed five years ago. The killer was recently sentenced. But she is outraged that the violence continues.

"It takes a community to say something - we just had gang members driving past in a car - when is the community going to come out and say something about that?" said Perez. "It takes the community, not only the cops."

Police just charged Aaron Barnes, 19, with three murders including that of Chanda Thompson, 21, last November as she picked up a cake for her two-year-old daughter's birthday party. Her aunt, Charlene Davis, was in the community to make a stand against the continuing violence.

"This is not just something that's happening on the South Side or the West Side - this is happening in everybody's community, and if you don't do something, guess what - it'll be in your community soon," said Davis.

The activists chose to come to the neighborhood that they did because one of the latest shootings happened here, at 1:30 a.m. - a man was shot in the face. He is now listed in critical condition, and the activists are hoping people in the community will come forward with information.


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