Prayer Vigil Decries Holiday Weekend Violence

11 killed, 67 shot over holiday weekend

A prayer vigil was held in the Roseland neighborhood Monday to speak out about the violence over the long weekend.

The "Kids Off the Block" program encourages young people in the neighborhood to find ways to be productive members of society so that they don't become victims or instigators of violence.

Eleven people were killed due to gunfire over the long weekend and a total of 67 were shot.

Annette Holt, whose 16-year-old son, Blair, was killed by gunfire in 2007, challenges claims that violence is decreasing in the city.

"Why are they saying that? We don't want to hear that because there's still too many innocent kids being killed in the city," Holt said.

why are they saying that? we don't want to hear that. bc there's still ppl being killed too many innocent

George Barron can't move around like he used to after he was shot in both legs in May while he was talking with friend. He's helping out with the program because he wants the "snitch" label to be known as a positive thing.

"I feel like if I was out on street dead I'd want someone to speak out for me," Barron said. "I feel blesssed every day just waking up. I lost a brother to gun violence in the '90s."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended the vigil and called for federal and community help.

"Where are the gun laws? Not just where are police, where are gun laws so you have comprehensive background checks?" Emanuel said.

But Barron believes the problems go beyond gun laws.

"I feel like it's not the guns that's killing people. It's people behind the trigger," Barron said. "Every shooting it's gonna get worse. Everyone out for revenge."

The vigil was held in front of two walls of bricks bearing the names of gun violence victims scrawled on each one.

"No gang member with a gun is more powerful than a community with a purpose and shared sense of values," Emanuel said.

In spite of the vigil, at least three more people were shot in Chicago Monday night.

Police say a woman was shot and critically wounded in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood on the South Side. The 21-year-old was shot in the back at 7:05 p.m. while she was in the 2200 block of West 69th Street. She's listed in critical condition.

Two men were also shot while playing basketball in the Southwest Side Gage Park neighborhood.

The two, 23 and 26, were playing basketball about 6:40 p.m. in the 3500 block of West 57th Street when they heard shots and felt pain, according to police.

The 26-year-old was shot in the left forearm and was taken in good condition to Saint Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center, Cooper said. The 23-year-old suffered a graze wound to his right thigh and was still at the scene at 7:15 p.m.

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