More than 50 people were shot across the city of Chicago over the Labor Day weekend, and as families mourn the victims of those shootings, others are also feeling the heartache that gun violence has wrought.
One such shooting occurred in the 8600 block of South Kingston at approximately 6:47 p.m. Sunday. In that incident, at least four people were, and two young men were killed in a hail of gunfire.
Their story is all too familiar to Pastor Tom Kennington of the South Chicago Christian Center, who knew the victims.
“I came by like a half hour before,” he said. “I got home, heard the shots, and came right back over.”
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Police say an 18-year-old man, identified as Jason Mundo by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, was shot multiple times, and was pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Another 20-year-old man was shot in the buttocks and the stomach, and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he too succumbed to his injuries.
Two other victims, an 18-year-old man and a 20-year-old man, were taken to area hospitals in fair condition after the shooting.
“It’s terrible. I know all four of these young men very well. They were with me every day,” Kennington said.
The pastor said that the four young men were neighbors for years, and he spent most of Monday with the grieving families of those impacted by the shooting.
“It was just a difficult morning and afternoon for me, and much more difficult for them,” he said.
As of 9 p.m. Monday, at least 54 people had been shot across the city, with eight victims dying from their injuries.
“I don’t remember seeing a Labor Day weekend with so few people out on the street,” Father Michael Pfleger said. “The fear element is so real and so horrible that our children are locked into houses.”
Pfleger, a noted anti-violence activist, says that communities need to come together to help reach young people early in life, to give them options that will get them away from the cycle of violence that has claimed far too many lives in the city.
“We’ve got to say, ‘how do we wrap our arms around our children?’ We’ve let our children go,” he said.
Kennington echoed those sentiments.
“Just encourage these kids,” he said. “They’re longing to better themselves and get in a better situation and they’re surrounded by a lot of trouble sometimes, which is unfortunate.”
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown will hold a press conference on Tuesday to discuss the city’s handling of gun violence this weekend.