Fr. Pfleger holds anti-violence event

August 31, 2012 8:26:35 PM PDT
Hundreds of people gathered Friday night at St. Sabina's Catholic Church on the South Side in an effort to stop the violence.

As the names of murder victims were read, Father Michael Pfleger, pastor St. Sabina's, raised a peace flag.

"I've seen these bodies for the last week and heard these shootings, and this is unacceptable anywhere let alone our city," said Father Pfleger.

Afterwards, church leaders and citizens - hundreds strong - encouraged residents to break the code of silence. They prayed and embraced the parents of those killed.

Jabari Minter was gunned down nearby Wednesday.

"It's too much moms crying," said Sonya Minter, Jabari's mother. "This hurts. I don't even have tears anymore."

Just a block from President Obama's home, another victim was shot and wounded before sunrise Friday.

In West Garfield Park, 15-year-old Telessia Shields is recovering after being shot walking home from school.

The city's plan to fight this violence is two-fold: tear down abandoned buildings and expand a partnership with federal agents to target high-crime areas, and known gang members. The mayor says it's working in two police districts.

"In my time, who would have ever said that Englewood is leading in the reduction of homicides in the city as a whole," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

That may provide hope to those who need it most.

"I can't really go outside because there is too much shooting going on," said Malik Jay Gambrell whose father was killed.


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