Chrissy Sanders, 32, had just finished trick-or-treating her 6-year-old son on Halloween night and, at about 8:30, a little late at East Garfield Park, arrived at the vigil for a friend.
As Sanders began to pay respects to the dying woman’s friends and loved ones, Sanders’ cousin told her, “I’m taking the kids in the car,” and took Sanders’ 6-year-old and her two young children. Went. For his car parked nearby on California Avenue.
“I’m so happy,” Sanders said of his cousin, he pushed them further and further away from the scene.
Sanders stood between two cars talking about funeral arrangements and then started crossing the street. He heard the attackers “drop 20 to 30 rounds” and someone shouted, “Get down!”
“I sank in the middle of the trucks,” Sanders said.
He did not see the car in which the attackers were, but he heard people around him shouting: “I was shot, I was shot … I’m down … I’ve been killed!”
With his adrenaline racing, Sanders didn’t realize he had been shot or didn’t even realize it. “I started running,” she said.
A relative picked him up and took him to the hospital. That’s when he noticed “a hole” in his leg.
Once at Mount Sinai Hospital, several other victims went to the emergency room and her son began to cry, “Oh, I hope my mom doesn’t die!”
Noting this, Sanders, who was recovering at his West Side home Wednesday afternoon with a bullet still lodged in his thigh, said the situation was “sick.”
“People have no mercy,” Sanders said of the shooters, whom he believed were children at the scene.
Her 6-year-old, who said she never wanted to celebrate Halloween again, told Sanders: “God spared you.”
At least 14 people, including a 3-year-old child and two other minors, were shot in Drive-by shooting Monday night during the East Garfield Park Vigil To the west, police said. Another woman, who was trying to escape from the spot, was hit by a vehicle crossing the road.
Police said the group stood guard at the corner of South California and West Polk Streets at around 9.20 pm when two men from inside a dark-colored SUV opened fire. The vehicle ran south.
An 18-year-old woman, who asked to remain anonymous over security concerns, said she was carrying a vigil and balloon release for a relative and was mostly surrounded by family that night.
Suddenly, the bullets went off, she said. She left from where the bullets were being fired, so she didn’t see the car or anyone, she said.
“I just heard shots, and I ran for a bit. I felt a bullet going through my back, a little sting,” she said. “Keep listening to the shots, people screaming… Just screaming. I kept my head. Heard mom screaming… my mind went blank.
She said the woman came under a car before she was able to run to her nearest home. Many of his family members live in the area and he said the violence “is not always like this.”
Once the shot was over, she ran back into the street and called the police and a cousin to tell them people had been shot.
The woman found her mother, who was shot in the leg, but her mother didn’t know or realize she was injured until a cousin pointed it out, she said.
Police arrived and started searching for the victims. The woman said that most of the people who were shot were members of her family.
His mother, an aunt and children, who are his cousins, were shot. Two have since left the hospital but one was there till Wednesday, she said. They don’t know who the shooters were or why they targeted the family outing, she said: “Probably the wrong place, the wrong time.”
“Everyone is trying to recover,” she said. “To be honest, I am shocked that this happened. I am surprised that this happened to my family no matter what. I never in my life thought we would be in such a situation. I hope someone who does Will be caught and jailed, but anything else, I have nothing to say.
Earlier on Wednesday, a crowd gathered at the same place where the firing took place.
The crowd of about 60 people was a mix of elected officials, representatives from Breakthrough Urban Ministries and non-profits such as the Chicago Institute for Nonviolence, and other community leaders. They came to the corner of South California and West Polk Street to tell people that violence is not tolerated in the neighborhood or anywhere else.
Some Chicago Police Squad cars were also parked at the intersection, and officers watched the news conference from the street. The program started with a group prayer.
Yolanda Fields is the executive director of Breakthrough, a community-based organization that provides violence prevention and intervention services in East Garfield Park. The nonprofit reacted to the scene after the shooting.
Fields said the shootings were “not normal” for the neighborhood and since then there have been “shoes on the ground” every hour of every day, but he called on more people to take an active role in the solutions that communities are working to protect. Used to be. Against violence instead of just mourning after something has happened.
“It’s not business as usual, and we refuse to be treated as such,” Fields said. “We’re not washing, we’re not washing and we’re not repeating.”
Fields said 10 of the shooting victims were part of a family and it was a relative of the family who had died for which surveillance was planned. He said that among the injured children are two real brothers.
“I know moms are worried about their kids right now,” Fields said. “The youngest was going into surgery yesterday, and so his immediate thoughts are about recovery, and that’s the extent of our conversation.”
Some family members had already been discharged from hospital, Fields said, while one is still in critical condition and two others are in critical condition.
Chicago Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Elena Gotrecht said at the news conference that the investigation into the shooting is still ongoing, and that more details will be released as the police department sees fit.
On Wednesday evening, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, five aldermen, and other elected officials such as State Representative Leccia Collins and US Representative Danny Davis joined pastors in an emotional prayer vigil in the corner of the street where the shooting took place. More than a hundred people from the community came.
“We cannot allow these despicable, cowardly acts to be normalized or accepted in any way. Are you with me on this?” asked Lightfoot, to various cheers and applause from the crowd. He then called for a statewide ban on assault weapons.
In order to begin in a concrete way, Lightfoot said, those responsible for the shooting would have to turn themselves in so the victims could begin to heal. And the city, she said, must address youth’s addiction to guns.
“What we must do is make sure that our youth know – They are not safe when they pick up a gun. They are not,” Lightfoot said. “It’s like holding a grenade in your hand and pulling a pin. The question is not ‘if’ tragedy is going to happen. The question is ‘when.'”
Superintendent of Police David Brown was also present. After Lightfoot addressed the shooters, it also took some time for Brown to send the message.
“You can run away but you can’t hide from the Chicago Police Department,” he said. He then addressed the Garfield Park community. “So goes the West Side, so goes Chicago. So you’re a strong community. Hold your head high,” Brown said. “Because we need you to stay strong. Be committed to your youth. Be committed to your families.”
Faith remained the main focus of the vigil, as the clergy shared ideas and led prayers for those in attendance. Several speakers called for federal, state and local resources to be poured into the West Side community, as witnessed by Highland Park following the July 4th mass shooting.
Rep Collins, a mother of three, said she lives in fear of getting a phone call that one of her children was killed by a stray bullet or gun violence in the city. “No mother should have to face this,” she said.
To close the vigil, Eld. Jason Ervin, 28, who represents the East Garfield Park community, reminded everyone, “Faith without work is dead. Today we pray – tomorrow we will work.”
Cornelius Parks, senior pastor at Good Hope Freeville Baptist Church in the neighborhood, said he and many others “have been serving this community for 52 years” but cannot do it alone.
“We need men and women to take accountability of your own community,” Parks said. “There is only so much CPD can do. There is only so much that outsiders can do. If you don’t take a stand in your community, she could be your son, she could be your daughter.
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He said there was a time when he was growing up and was able to go to school and when the neighborhood was a true community, but added that something happened to that sentiment and now the children’s lives were “in danger.”
The community has to “get to the table” and come back together, he said, showing the strength of the neighborhood and what is needed to improve.
Collins, a Chicago Democrat, drew comparisons to the mass shootings at the July 4th parade in Highland Park, and said the black community, whether west or south, wanted to see the same level of response as Highland Park did.
“We want the same importance in our community, the same attention, and we don’t need any more allies,” Collins said. “We need co-conspirators, people who are intentionally about the upliftment of the black community, because we have been ignored for so long, and we are tired of the same old cries and narratives.”
Kathleen Sense, president and CEO of the Gun Violence Prevention Political Action Committee, or G-PAC, said in a statement Wednesday that the organization is committed to ensuring that the pace of banning guns is incorporated into “meaningful policy change.” And thanks to Lightfoot for joining. Statewide call for the prevention of gun violence.
Illinois has seen 48 mass shootings since the beginning of the year, 37 of them in Chicago. Gun Violence Archive, According to the G-PAC statement, mass shootings are only a fraction of the fatal shootings across the state.