Prayer service held for shooting victim

April 8, 2010 4:32:27 AM PDT
A prayer service was held Wednesday following the shooting of a Chicago public high school student.

Fourteen-year-old Danny Gilmore was shot while on his way to Douglass Academy Tuesday morning. He is in serious condition.

The family of Danny Gilmore stood side-by-side with church pastors Wednesday night, praying for the teen's quick recovery. He is alive, but injured.

"At this point, he is paralyzed from the waist down. He still has a bullet lodged in his shoulder. He's fighting for his life, as we speak," said Angela Gilmore, victim's aunt.

Danny Gilmore was shot Tuesday morning after leaving a convenience store. Gilmore was on his way to Douglass high school. It was just after 8 a.m.

Wednesday night, more than 35 people gathered at Greater St. John Bible Church on the West Side. They want a different future for other children in the Austin community.

"It's important for us to get out and try to reduce this violence. It's really becoming a problem," said Terrayne Ellis, Austin YMCA employee.

"I feel a lot of tension to go out now. I feel like I have to be more safe and realize my surroundings before I go out and do it," said 14-year-old Caleb Henderson.

The pastors are also pushing a five-point plan to end the violence. One critical point is breaking the code of silence. The pastors say, when a family knows about a crime, they must speak up.

"If they are afraid to call the police department directly, call their pastor, call community leaders. Call me, I'm not afraid," said Pastor Ira Acree, Greater St. John Bible Church.

"It's okay to speak out. It's okay to voice your opinion. It's okay to say what's right and what's wrong," said Angela Gilmore.

Breaking that code of silence is just one point. There are several other points the pastors would like to make. They have put those in a letter to Mayor Daley and hope to have a one-on-one meeting with him as soon as possible to discuss summer job havens as well as places where kids can stay during the summertime to make sure that they are safe.