Cook County Violence

Chicago Woman Loses Loved Ones to COVID and Gun Violence Just Days Apart

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A Chicago area woman is mourning the deaths of her husband and brother, who died just days apart in the month of December.

Marquita Hubbard Dunlap's husband Nathaniel is one of more than 13,000 people who died from COVID-19 in Cook County since the pandemic began, and her brother was shot and killed while leaving a funeral gathering.

“My heart was crushed,” Marquita said. “It was crushed to see a very well and healthy person just taken away by COVID.”

Married for 21 years, Marquita said her husband was hesitant to get vaccinated. He died just three weeks before Christmas.

“Please get vaccinated please,” she pleaded in a phone interview with NBC 5. “Whatever you do— get vaccinated.”

Shortly after losing her husband she experienced another tragedy. Her older brother, Frank Hall, was shot nine times while leaving a funeral gathering at 43rd and Drexel on December 11th.

“Unfortunately after the repass, my brother and my mother were shot,” she said. “My brother didn’t make it due to gun violence in Chicago.”

Grim reminders abound of the ongoing COVID pandemic. NBC 5 has learned that a second semi trailer was delivered to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office on Wednesday to help with daily operations as the death toll continues to climb across the country.

“It’s sobering news,” said Internal Medicine Physician Dr. Vivek Cherian. “You also have to realize out of all the countries in the world, the United States has the highest COVID related death count in the entire world.”

The county said several trailers have been deployed to area hospitals to help decompress their morgues if necessary. The trailers can be used for COVID or non-COVID cases.

Trailers were delivered last week to Advocate Christ Medical Center, AMITA Health Resurrection Medical Center Chicago and Ingalls Memorial.

As for Dunlap’s wife, she says Chicago is battling two pandemics: COVID and gun violence.

“Get vaccinated and put the guns down,” she said.

She’s hoping things will get better and said she’s thinking also about those who have lost a loved one in the city.

“My heart goes out to them. I just tell them to continue to pray keep God first,” she said. “It seems like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel but it will be.”

According to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, 254 residents died in the last week of December. The ME’s office said that was the highest total number they have seen since Dec. of 2020.

As for her bother’s unsolved murder, Hall’s family is offering a $50,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the shooter. Residents can report an anonymous tip to the Chicago police tip line at (312) 746-7330. 

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