After a particularly violent week in Chicago left a 9-year-old boy, a 14-year-old boy and a 20-year-old model dead in separate shootings, Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave an emotional speech about ending the violence during Mass at St. Sabina Church on Sunday.
"We are better as a city than what we have seen," Emanuel said.
The mayor spent the morning before Mass visiting the parents of Kaylyn Pryor, a 20-year-old model and Evanston native who was shot to death in the South Side Englewood neighborhood on Nov. 2. Pryor, who won Mario Tricoci's 2015 "Mario, Make Me a Model" competition, was standing outside in the 7300 block of South May Street when a car pulled up and someone inside opened fire, police said.
"If we want to live as a city and be the city for our children, we cannot live by a code of silence," Emanuel said at St. Sabina. "We must live by a moral code because where there is silence, there is evil."
Less than 24 hours before Emanuel stepped behind the pulpit, 14-year-old J'Quantae Riles was shot to death just blocks from his home in the Gage Park neighborhood after a visit to the barber shop, his mother said.
J'Quantae's mother said she had just left him to walk his 7-year-old sister home. When she got home, the pregnant mother laid down to rest, and shortly later she heard a knock on her door. It was someone telling her J'Quantae had been shot and killed.
"Later today, I'm going to open another playground, and what I want to know is, is that going to be a playground for a child to swing or a mother to cry?" Emanuel said. "And we as a city have to answer that question. All of us in the city. Not the people of Auburn Gresham alone, not the people of Englewood alone."
Emanuel ended his emotional speech asking the congregants to not only hug their own children, but also to hug another child.
The Sunday sermon marked the second time this week that Emanuel addressed violence in Chicago. On Tuesday, a day after 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee was lured from a park to an alleyway where he was shot to death, Emanuel spoke about the "evil in the world" and said he hoped that Tyshawn's killer would "never see daylight."