Dozens gather for Good Friday Peace March in Albany Park

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After two people were shot Thursday in Albany Park, families of shooting victims in the neighborhood and across the city came together for a Good Friday March for Peace saying they remember Christ's sacrifice as they pray for justice.

"We just celebrated his 20th birthday last month, and it was very hard for us because it's just unfair," Maria Algrin said to a crowd of more than 60 at the spot her nephew Carlos Pagan-Guzman was shot and killed.

Present were the families, friends and loved ones who can only remember and speak for the dead.

Friday they honored their sons, nephews, neighbors, all killed in Albany Park by gun and street violence.

"It means so much. It's almost like a family outside of our family. A much bigger support system than I could ever provide to my family," Algrin said.

Carrying white paper angels, praying, and leaving roses at each spot a victim was killed, dozens marched for nearly two hours celebrating memories and crying out for justice.

"The pain is just unbearable. It took a toll on me over the years. And we still don't have justice," said Pamela Hester-Jones. She says her son was beaten to death in Albany Park more than 10 years ago.

In all six victims were honored: Carlos Pagan-Guzman, killed in 2018; Lazarus Jones, killed in 2007; Israel Aragon Jr., killed in 2016; Leon Deakyne, killed in 2011; Roberto Ramirez, killed in 2018; and Jeremy Spivey, killed 2015.

Dalia Aragon, whose brother Israel was honored, organized the event. She founded Israel's Gifts of Hope Foundation to support family, siblings and friends who have lost or loved one to violence.

"It's not easy. And it's not easy for everyone to be here. But it is for a bigger cause," she said. "We're hopefully doing him justice and making him proud."

The group finished its march at Christ Lutheran Church where they continued to share stories and fellowship. Chicago police said since the beginning of the year there have been seven shooting victims in Albany Park, 570 total in the city.
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