CPD offers victim services after North Lawndale shooting kills mother, injures 7 other women

Chicago police said another woman shot 8 times in incident

Leah Hope Image
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
CPD offers victim services after 8 women shot, 1 fatally
A North Lawndale shooting in Chicago killed Kanesha Gaines and injured seven other women near near 15th and Keeler early Sunday morning.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police discussed victim services and resources Monday after eight women and one man were shot at a birthday party on the city's West Side early Sunday morning.

Interim Chicago Police Superintendent Fred Waller and CPD's Crime Victim Services Unit spoke about 12:30 p.m. at CPD HQ.

A North Lawndale shooting in Chicago killed Kanesha Gaines and injured seven other women near near 15th and Keeler early Sunday morning.

"It gives us equity in the community. We want to show them that what we are trying to do, we are trying to show them that we care about them," Waller said.

Chicago police offer crisis services to victims at some crime scenes. But the department plans to do more outreach.

"It is a great philosophy to be working hand in hand with victims and to try and address their trauma, but the greater trauma for the country, some who work with victims of crime say this work will only make a difference if it is permanent," CPD Assistant Director Aileen Robinson said.

Natasha Graham is struggling with her painful reality: She's lost another one of her children to gun violence.

"I'm unbearably hurt. That's my oldest daughter. That's my oldest daughter," Graham said.

Kanesha Gaines, 21, was killed, and seven other women were wounded when someone opened fire in the city's North Lawndale neighborhood early Sunday morning.

Chicago police initially said nine women were shot, but later said eight women and one 20-year-old man were shot in the incident.

"Kanesha was funny, everything. She was outgoing. She was the queen of the world," Graham said.

The shooting happened in the 1500-block of South Keeler Avenue just before 1 a.m.

Police said as Gaines and a group of women gathered there for a luau party, enjoying the Hawaiian-themed birthday celebration, a black Jeep approached. Without warning, multiple unknown suspects, armed with guns, got out and started shooting at the women.

The victims range in age from 20 to 33 years old. Gaines was shot in the face, and later died.

A 28-year-old woman who was struck eight times remains hospitalized in critical condition.

SEE ALSO: Chicago shootings: At least 47 shot, 5 fatally, in weekend shootings across city, police say

While the violence has left neighborhood residents on edge, relatives once again are dealing with the trauma of loss. Gaines' 18-year-old brother, Keshaun, was a victim of gun violence in 2019.

"With what you've got left, you're just trying to hold onto it as close as you can. Don't let your kids outside," Graham said.

Relatives said Gaines was a home healthcare worker and part-time stylist. She leaves behind a 3-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter.

Amid the grief, there's also a mother's anger over all the guns on the streets and those willing to use them, as well as a plea for justice and the violence to stop.

"I'm going to continue to be the strong one; I'm going to help my family, and we're going to make it past this," Graham said.

No one was in custody Monday; Area Four detectives are investigating.

Chicago police released a statement on the incident Sunday afternoon that said in part, "Our hearts are with the family and loved ones of the victim who was killed. We are also walking alongside those injured in this shooting and those who were present and witnessed the reprehensible act of violence."

The Chicago Police Crime Victim Services Unit set up an assistance center for those impacted by the shooting in North Lawndale. Located at the Deliverance Temple of Apostolic Faith Church at 1457 S. Komensky Ave., the center will be open on Monday from 1 until 7 p.m.

"If they are just open for today, it ain't gonna work. You need to have this thing open. I support this, but it needs to be open as long as it can help people," crisis counselor Andrew Holmes said.

Princess Shaw grew up in North Lawndale, and considers herself a community connector. She'd like to see these resources get to those who most need them.

"It has to start with someone to let people know it's OK not to be OK, and I'm hopeful with this new administration we keep on this path," Shaw said.

There were 47 shot, five fatally, over the weekend in Chicago.

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