Political and community leaders in Chicago and around the U.S. have been busy in recent months looking for solutions and promising action when it comes to combatting gun violence, but after two mass shootings, just hours apart, residents in multiple communities are left picking up the pieces and trying to make sense of tragedy.
Just after midnight Wednesday, at least five people were shot in the city’s West Garfield Park neighborhood. Just 12 hours later, five more people were shot near 79th and Justine Streets.
One Auburn Gresham resident named Danielle, who was already tired from a long day at work, was seen after the second shooting sweeping up bloody debris from the scene, which was located right near her home.
“It’s a shame. If you ask me, police ride past every day, and they don’t care,” she said.
A resident named Daryl, who runs a convenience store near the scene, echoed similar sentiments about his frustrations.
“These fools need something to do. Bottom line, they need something to do,” he said. “They don’t love nothing, don’t respect nothing.”
Police say that a group of people were standing outside of the shop when three gunmen got out of a silver sedan and began shooting at them.
“It’s scary at times, but our community’s gotta come together if we want to get this right,” resident Canessa Jordan said. “Because we’ve got kids out here.”
The shooting took place across the street from a community outreach center, where Pastor Donovan Price says he recognizes that more is being demanded of faith leaders than ever before.
“It’s hard on everybody. It’s sad it’s becoming too commonplace,” he said.
Pam Bosley, a mother and a member of the activism group “Purpose Over the Pain,” is working to give young men access to jobs and opportunities, but says that she’s starting to feel the strain of seeing so many shootings in the community that she loves.
“I’m frustrated, and starting to feel hopelessness,” she said. “We’re standing here now in blood.”
Bosley says that she wants Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration to live up to its promises, and to step up with new funding and other initiatives to bring hope to areas of the city hard-hit by the violence.
“Just like when she caught the looters who rampaged downtown, and put together a taskforce, she needs to put pictures up and find them,” she said. “She needs to find the ones who are shooting our kids.”
Even still, there’s still divided opinions on whether such hope for action is misplaced.
“It’s been going on so long. I’m pretty sure what I say won’t change anything,” Danielle said.
“If you want hope, then there is hope,” Price responds.