Chicago firefighter Timothy Eiland is still recovering in the hospital after being shot in the face more than a month ago on the city’s Far South Side.
"It’s devastating," said Quention Curtis. "I personally know Eiland and his family so this was even personal for me."
Eiland, who was off duty at the time, was among six people shot in a drive-by, including his 15-year-old niece. Police said the gunman opened fire on a crowd of people as they were leaving a family party near Prairie and Kensington avenues in West Pullman.
"He’s got a long road to recovery and he has a lot of kids, and we feel a duty and responsibility to help and aid him and his family and take care of his kids," said Curtis.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
Curtis is the president and founder of the Black Fire Brigade. His non-profit recruits and trains Black children to become medical technicians and firefighters. The non-profit started in 2018 will hold a fundraiser for Eiland on Friday evening.
"His graduating class at CFD has done a phenomenal job at helping put this whole thing together," said Curtis. "One hundred percent of the proceeds are going to him, not going to the brigade. All the money will go to help him and his family."
Eiland’s sister told NBC 5 she heard her brother’s voice for the first time yesterday. The firefighter and father of five is able to breath on his own but still unable to walk. Meanwhile, her 15-year-old daughter, who was shot in the arm, was released from the hospital. She’s now on seven different medications trying to regain mobility of her arm, wrist, hand and fingers.
"We’re praying for Eiland and his family and we’re there to support him 100%," said Curtis.
The support for the family has been tremendous with people raising close to $25,000 online. Curtis hopes the upcoming fundraiser will help the family offset the cost of medical bills and other expenses.
"It let you know that people care, you know. It’s just a matter of giving them an opportunity to care," said Curtis. "I tell people we need to care before an incident happens. There are things we need to do before we suffer another one of these incidents."
The fundraiser will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at the Black Fire Brigade headquarters at 8406 S. Kedzie.
As for the investigation, police said they have no person of interest or suspects in custody for the mass shooting. If you have any information please call Area Two detectives.