Mothers Trying to Protect Their Neighborhood Gunned Down in Chicago

Andrea Stourdemire and Chantell Grant were gunned down Friday near the corner of 75th and Stewart

Two mothers who had been trying to transform their neighborhood were shot and killed in weekend gun violence in the same area they’d been trying to protect.

But their vision for the South Side Englewood neighborhood won’t die with them, activists said.

Andrea Stourdemire and Chantell Grant were gunned down Friday near the corner of 75th and Stewart.

According to Chicago police, officers responded to the scene to find the two women with gunshot wounds to the chest. Both were taken to University of Chicago Medical Center where they were pronounced dead. A man was also shot in the arm and walked into St. Bernard Hospital where he was listed in stable condition.

The women were part of the group Mothers Against Senseless Killing, also known as MASK. The group voluntarily patrols parts of Englewood trying to break the cycle of violence and promote peace.

“This attack on these two moms was an attack on all of us,” said founder Tamar Manasseh, who called the shooting “terrifying.”

On Tuesday, Manasseh was at the same corner where the women were gunned down, and she said she’s standing her ground.

“This is my block, our corner, our space, we have to claim for the future of the neighborhood,” Manasseh said.

Until this summer, the block near 75th and Stewart had gone four years without a shooting.

Police said no arrests have been made in the case and an investigation was ongoing.

"This is still very much under investigation, but at this time, we have no evidence that we can point to that suggests the women were the intended targets,” Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. “We also have no evidence to the contrary. One of the males in the group who was non-fatally injured has a history with CPD and was recently released from prison. Other than victimology, we are seeking additional community information to ascertain what drove this tragic incident."

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said it appeared the shooting was “a drive-by and these women got caught in the fire.”

“It’s terrible,” she said.

But in spite of the shooting, Mannaseh said she isn’t backing down, and the movement to better the community will continue.

“We will not be stopped,” she said.

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