Thursday night 13 people were shot in Chicago including 3-year-old Deonta Howard. Once again, Chicago is highlighted over gun violence. According to this week’s FBI annual crime report Chicago was the victim of 500 homicides in 2012. It appears that they haven’t reached that quota yet but gun violence is still an issue in Chicago.
Gary F. McCarthy, Chicago Police Superintendent, said that the shooting Thursday appeared to be gang related. He also said an assault-style rifle was used in the shooting; one with a high-capacity magazine. McCarthy said that military style weapons and illegal guns must be kept out of the communities. They drive violence. He added the type of gun used in Thursday’s shooting should be limited to a battlefield and never on Chicago streets.
As the bullets began to fly there was a basketball game being played and people were trying to enjoy themselves at Cornell Square Park as they should. Caught in the cross-fire of this unnecessary violence was 3-year-old Howard who was shot in the head. The bullet entered his ear and exited his mouth. Although he has been stabilized, his injuries are severe and he is heavily sedated. He will definitely require plastic surgery on his face but they expect him to be okay.
Howard’s grandmother, Semehca Nunn, came home to find police and television cameras surrounding her house. After realizing that this commotion was centered around her grandson she instantly began pleading for the violence to stop. She said too many innocent people are being shot.
McCarthy said it’s a miracle that no one was killed given the type of weapon used. Out of the 13 injured Howard is 3-years-old, two are 15-years-old, and the others range from 21-41 years of age. He said there needs to be a ban on assault weapons in this country.
The mayor’s office said that these brazen and senseless acts of violence betray all that Chicago stands for. He encouraged anyone with information to step forward and assured the residents of his city that those responsible for this crime will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. As of Friday no suspects were in custody. Police are reviewing available video and interviewing witnesses.
A spokesman for Howard’s family, Rev. Corey Brooks, said the fact this is happening once again in the neighborhood is not only disappointing but very frustrating. He said it makes no sense that anytime, anywhere a child playing in the park or walking to school can get shot. The community has to do something about this violence.
Brooks said Latinos and Blacks face severe violence regularly. Murders happen every day on the south side and on the west side. He said this is Chicago’s reality right now.
Gov. Pat Quinn calls it horrific violence and says he is extremely saddened by it. He said he’s praying for a quick recovery for all the victims of this violence and said his heart goes out to their families.
Veronica Morris-Moore, a 20-year-old community organizer, said to address gun control alone is going backwards. She said Chicago is a city where people can go anywhere and purchase guns; even gas stations. She said it’s hard and almost impossible to control guns there. Veronica said the city is going to have to start addressing the cause of the problem which is economic violence. Something has to be done and fast.
Once again, Chicago has found its city in the spotlight over gun violence where 13 people were shot on Thursday night. Among that number is 3-year-old Deonta Howard who is stabilized but in serious condition after being shot in the head.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)