Father’s Day was forever changed for the families of four children shot and killed over the weekend.
The youngest victims, 3-year-old Mehki James and 13-year-old Amaria Jones, were shot and killed in separate incidents in the Austin neighborhood on the same day.
Two others, Charles Riley, 16, and Ja-Sean Francis, 17, were shot and killed near 79th and Luella in the South Chicago neighborhood on Saturday when they simply went to get snacks from a nearby store, according to Chicago police.
“Children in Chicago should not have to worry about walking just blocks from home to buy candy and never returning,” said Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown.
Police are searching for a man caught on surveillance video at the same store shortly before the shooting, believed to be the gunman.
Supt. Brown spoke about why he feels we’re seeing this spike in gun violence.
“Too many felons are not spending enough time in jail," added Brown. "We need to improve the home monitoring program.”
How does he think this issue can be fixed?
“We need cooperation and collaboration with others and partners within the criminal justice system," said Brown.
Community activist Andrew Holmes knows the pain of losing a child all too well.
His daughter was shot and killed five years ago.
Holmes spent this Father’s Day passing out fliers for information about the killer of the 3-year-old boy.
“This family is hurting," Holmes said. "That baby left home probably smiling and talking as any other child did, but now he can’t smile, can’t say nothing.”