Community members in Garfield Park are calling for justice and change after a mass shooting sent 14 people to local hospitals over Halloween.
Activists and residents spoke out on Wednesday, with Chicago police still investigating the horrific shooting and the motive behind it.
“We need help here!” said Pastor Cornelius Parks of the Good Hope Free Will Baptist Church. “Our hearts are broken. Too many kids getting shot.”
The drive-by shooting in Garfield Park on Halloween night injured 14 people, including three children, one of whom was just 3 years old.
“We spoke and contacted the victims. Ten of them were part of one family,” said Yolanda Fields, executive director of Breakthrough Urban Ministries. “The mother is worried about her children at the moment. The youngest was going to have surgery yesterday. So right now they are thinking about their well-being.”
Chicago police said all 14 people were shot in just three seconds near California Avenue and Polk Street on Monday night.
“I know I’m scared. I’m scared to get a phone call every day about my 17-year-old son, my 14-year-old son or my 9-year-old son just coming home from school , or the store or wanting to go to their park,” State Rep. Lakesia Collins said.
The White House released a statement on the shooting, calling on Congress to pass universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons, as well as allocate more money to communities in need.
Statement by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Gun Violence | The White House
“Who wants to live in a community where they’re afraid to walk down the street? There are abandoned buildings, there are vacant buildings,” Rep. Danny Davis said. “Something needs to happen that is unlike anything we’ve seen. Yes, we have programs, we have activities, but what we need is a massive infusion of cash.”
Even with federal and state intervention, stopping the violence will also force neighbors to help and speak out, activists say.
“There’s not much the DPC can do. There’s not much outsiders can do. If you don’t take a stand in your own community, it could be your son, it could be your daughter,” Parks said.
There is a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the shooting. Currently, no suspects are in custody.