Shooting victim pleads for end to violence

August 11, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Last Thursday, Bobbie Ford, 54, of Park Forest was leaving her church in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood when she became the unintended target of gunfire. Ford was shot in the face while walking with her 6-year old granddaughter. Now, she's calling for an end to the violence.

"I never thought I would be a victim of violence like this here, especially after leaving out of my sanctuary," said Ford.

She was leaving service at the Greater Faith Cathedral Church in the Roseland neighborhood last Thursday night when a bullet struck her in the face. There is a scar on the right side of her nose where it entered.

"It traveled through the right side of my jaw. It fractured bones going through. I was bleeding furiously. I coughed up half of the bullet.The other half of the bullet is laying on my first vertebrae," said Ford.

Ford was headed to her car parked across the street with her granddaughter, Amesha Marshall. She believes a man who was being chased by two other men was the likely target.

"Whoever you are young man, would you please step forward? You don't have to tell who you are, just tell who the person was that did the shooting. I know you see me now. It could've been you because they were shooting at you," said Ford.

Ford says she ran back into the church for help. Her pastor says they're willing to help the shooter, too.

"I'm saying to the young man, please call us. Call the church. Get in contact with us immediately. If you want us to walk with you, we'll do that. Please call us because she don't deserve this," said Bishop Michael Gardner, pastor, Greater Faith Cathedral Church.

Supporters say the community needs more help from the police to stop the violence.

"Why don't you all do something about the illegal sale of guns, particularly in the African-American community? That is the topic that no one has discussed," said Rev. Anthony Williams, pastor, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Ford says the community needs to help as well. The unwritten rule of "no snitching" needs to stop now.

"You're going to have to tell something and you're going to have to tell it quick, because the next bullet just may be on your door step," said Ford.

Bobbie Ford says it's a miracle she's alive, but she's not out of the woods yet. Doctors haven't decided whether it's worth the risk to remove the remainder of the bullet. She also has to undergo physical and speech therapy.

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