Man charged in Chicago teen's shooting

April 8, 2010 2:54:42 PM PDT
Police filed charges against an 18-year-old man suspected of shooting a 14-year-old Chicago public school student earlier this week.Antonio Simpson is charged with shooting Danny Gilmore as he walked to school Tuesday morning.

Simpson was denied bond in court on Thursday. Gilmore is still in the hospital.

Gilmore was shot on his way to Douglass Academy. He is in serious condition.

Gilmore's family 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 after leaving a convenience store just after 8 a.m. Tuesday.

On Wednesday night, more than 35 people gathered at Greater St. John Bible Church on the West Side. They said 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, they said. 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 OK to speak out. It's OK to voice your opinion. It's OK 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 Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and say they 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 summer to make sure they are safe.