City leaders and family members on Sunday condemned violence over the Fourth of July weekend in Chicago that saw 16 people, including two young children shot and killed.
According to police, 16 people, including seven-year-old Natalie Wallace, have died and at least 69 others have been wounded in shootings across the city over the weekend leaving families like Natalie’s devastated.
“You hear this on the news everyday a child getting killed,” said her father Nathan Wallace. “But you don’t think about it until it’s your own.”
Natalie Wallace died from injuries she sustained in a shooting at around 7:02 p.m. in the Austin neighborhood on July 4. According to police, the young girl was on a sidewalk when a light-colored vehicle pulled up and an unknown number of offenders exited the vehicle. The offenders then produced guns and fired shots in the direction of the victim.
“It hurts me that my youngest daughter is no longer here, and I would not be able to talk to her, hold her, tell her bedtime stories, anything,” Nathan Wallace said.
Natalie sustained a gunshot wound to the forehead and was taken to Stroger Hospital where she died. Police were questioning a person of interest in her death Sunday night.
Hours after the young girl's death, a mass shooting in the 6200 block of South Carpenter in Englewood ended with the death of a 14-year-old boy, Varnado Jones.
“It’s hard to even put into words that I have to tell you another child again of 14 has been struck down,” said Chicago Police Chief Fred Waller.
Jones was shot in the back, and was later pronounced dead at Comer Children’s Hospital.
A total of eight people were shot, including Jones, in that incident, according to authorities.
On Sunday evening, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown and Rev. Jesse Jackson sent out tweets regarding a meeting that took place between the two of them about working together to make the city safer.
“We can’t do this alone,” Supt. Brown said. “The road ahead is long, but I know that working together is how we’re going to make Chicago a safer city for everyone.