Two teens wounded, one critically, in South Shore shooting

April 22, 2014 (CHICAGO)

The teens were standing on the sidewalk near 69th Street and Cornell Avenue on Chicago's South Side around 9:30 p.m. Monday when they heard gunfire. The 16-year-old victim said the bullets came from behind.

"When I fell it felt like I was 1,000 pounds. I couldn't pull myself back up," the 16-year-old victim said. "But I got up and started running."

The older victim was shot in the leg. The 14-year-old was shot in the back. Both boys were taken to Comer Children's Hospital, the younger victim listed in critical condition. His condition improved to "stable" condition by Tuesday afternoon.

Chicago police said neither teen has a criminal record, but there is no word on whether the shooting is gang related. Police do not have any suspects in custody. Area Central detectives are investigating.

The victims' family members are worried about the escalation of violence in Chicago as the weather warms up.

"It's senseless. There's so much going on and the summer hasn't even gotten here yet," the 16-year-old victim's mother said. "It makes no sense that we're losing so many of our babies."

The two boys are the latest victims of gun violence in Chicago. This past weekend nine people died and more than 30 others were injured in shootings across the city.

Five children were hurt in a drive-by shooting in the Park Manor neighborhood on Sunday night. During a peace vigil at St. Sabina Church, a short distance from where the Monday night shooting took place, Mayor Rahm Emanuel called for an end to Chicago violence that same evening.

Bronzeville community activists said Tuesday this kind of violence is becoming all too common in Chicago, and they're taking steps they hope will help make it stop.

Phillip Jackson, founder of the Black Star Project, said the answers have to come from the community. He said young men and women need to have hope and a vision of how to accomplish their goals.

"The police can't stop this," Jackson said. "Even if there's a policeman on every corner, they can't stop this violence."

The Black Star Project hosts regular meetings where speakers help mentor young people in the community. Tuesday night's guest is Albert Grace, co-founder of downtown investment firm Loop Capitol. Grace grew up on the South Side.

"He actually did it," Jackson said. "He's not going to be talking theory, he's not going to be talking about what's coming out of a book. He's going to be talking about his life as a black man – a young black boy on the South Side of Chicago – growing up and creating one of the most successful investment capital firms in the country."

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