Family Again Victimized by Gun Violence - NBC Chicago

Family Again Victimized by Gun Violence

Tonya Gist one of several people killed and injured on another violent Chicago weekend



    A young mother in 1991 lost her 13-month-old baby to a bullet. Twenty-two years later that young mother is also gunned down. (Published Monday, April 9, 2012)

    A Roseland woman who more than 20 years ago lost her grandson to gun violence is again reeling in pain, this time for the shooting that took the life of that boy's mother, her own daughter, over the weekend.

    "I'm a senior citizen. I shouldn't be burying my daughter. She should be burying me," Shirley Gist sobbed Monday, two days after her daughter, Tonya Gist, was gunned down near the intersection of W. 108th Place and South Princeton Avenue.

    Gist was one of several people killed and injured on another violent Chicago weekend.

    "I heard her say: 'Open the door! Open the door! Open the door! It was drastic to see my baby laying their on the floor, under all that blood, it was awful," she recalled.

    Gist was shot several times as she tried to get away from the barrage of bullets. Holes riddle the facade of the home and a window is shattered from the gunfire.

    "I just hope and pray to God and hope that who shot my daughter that somebody would say something," the grandmother said. "And they would say something to help me out."

    Gist said she plans to move out of the neighborhood she's called home for 22 years. It is with a heavy heart, remembering how gun violence haunted her family more than 20 years ago; a story hard for her to comprehend as she plans funeral services for her oldest daughter.

    "My daughter was holding her baby in arms," she said, recalling the 991 incident at a nearby gas station. "The bullet went through the baby went out his back and into my daughter's stomach."

    That baby was 13-month-old Denzel Gist, her grandson. He died  from his wounds, but his mother survived only to be shot again this past Saturday night.

    Police arrested the man who killed Denzel Gist and Shirley said he was put away "for a long, long sentence." 

    Tonya Gist's killer or killers remain at large. No one has been arrested.

    "My daughter was so beautiful. She was real beautiful," said Shirley Gist.