Killing of 9-year-old sparks anti-violence initiative

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The murder of 9-year-old has sparked the start of an anti-violence initiative called Antonio's Response. (WLS)

Antonio Smith was the youngest person killed in 2014. A year after the 9-year-old's death, his senseless murder has given life to something meaningful - a new anti-violence initiative that bears his name.

"I feel him all the time," said his mother, Brandi Murry. "I think he was in the house today because the dogs were going crazy."
Antonio was about to begin fourth grade when he was shot while walking to his grandfather's house in the 1200-block of East 71st Street in the Grand Crossing neighborhood.

He never made it to his grandfather's house. Instead, he was shot half a dozen times, including twice in the chest, and left to die on a concrete slab.

Antonio's murder sparked outrage and police crediting the community's thirst for justice. Four alleged gang members have been charged, but the case is still in the pre-trial phase.

"If everyone in the community has that sense of family, of other people looking out for them," said Cook County State's Attorney
Anita Alvarez. "Working together that will help stop the violence."

Thursday night, a coalition of community leaders, clergy and law enforcement announced an initiative called Antonio's Response, which calls for organized action whenever a young child is gunned down.

"We envision it to be like an Amber Alert," Jose Wilson, of Antonio's Response. "We're going to show up in mass numbers - community members, clergy, police, to say this behavior is unacceptable.

For more information about Antonio's Response, click here.

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chicago shootingChicago - Grand Crossing
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