A vigil was held Thursday evening after a 14-year-old girl was shot and critically wounded while walking her dog in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood this week.
Family has been gathered since Wednesday night at Comer Children’s Hospital, and dozens gathered at 48th and Wood, just steps from where the girl was shot.
“The point is that her life matters, and the life of a lot of our young people matter, and that we shouldn’t’ be having any victims of gun violence in our community,” Berto Aguayo, an activist with Increase the Peace, said.
Members of the group organized the vigil to pray for the young girl as police continue their search for the gunman.
Surveillance footage from a nearby convenience store shows the 14-year-old girl walking across the street with her boyfriend and her dog. Seconds later, three people in black approached the pair and fired shots.
“Three individuals of a local gang approached them and asked what gang they are a part of,” Ald. Raymond Lopez said. “The young lady said she wasn’t part of a gang, but her mom was, and the three people that approached them took that as a cue to start shooting at them.”
Lopez is calling out the gang violence in the city, saying problems need to be addressed at all levels.
“We have to stop being enamored with gang culture. It is wrong,” he said. “It is bad, and it is dangerous, and it only leads to one outcome.”
The girl’s friend Lithzuly Pizano says that her friend is a “fighter,” and that she is a great person caught in an awful situation.
“She’s a good person overall,” Pizano said. “She has a lot of charisma, a lot of sass, and she’s a great person overall.”