CHICAGO (CBS) — A balloon release was held Wednesday night for the victims of a mass shooting in Chicago, but it was also about releasing pain – as the repeated mass shootings cause lasting damage.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is safe and police have a handle and a clear strategy to combat gun violence. But as CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported Wednesday night, the families who are now grieving don’t see it that way.
Candles burned Wednesday night to remember the eight people shot inside a house in the 6200 block of South Morgan Street early Tuesday. Four of them died – Denice Mathis, 32; Ratanya Aryiel Rogers, 28; Blake Lee, 34; and Shermetria Williams, 19.
“This was not her destiny,” said Shermetria Williams’ sister, Deon Williams. “She just graduated yesterday.”
“We shouldn’t have to worry about being gunned down in our own home,” said Robyn Eddmonds, a friend of the victims.
The majority of the victims in the Englewood incident were shot in the head – likely by two gunmen, according to police.
“The people in that home didn’t deserve this,” Eddmonds said. “They wasn’t gangbangers. They wasn’t drug dealers.”
Hours later came the mass shooting in West Garfield Park. Five people were and wounded on Monroe Street near Springfield Avenue around 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Early in the morning this past Saturday, 10 people were shot at 75th Street in Prairie Avenue in Chatham. One of them, a 29-year-old woman identified as Kimfier Miles, died.
The trauma is visible for the families of gun violence victims. It also weighs on the trauma surgeons who consistently try to repair the carnage.
Andy Wheeler works families impacted by gun violence at Stroger Hospital of Cook County.
“The symptoms of post-traumatic stress and acute stress are high among trauma surgeons and trauma medical staff,” Wheeler said, “The true victims here are patients and families and their communities.”
On Facebook, there is a desperate call for blood donations with a nationwide shortage. A post from a user claiming to work for the University of Chicago Medical Center said with a steady stream of gunshot victims, doctors could be forced to make difficult decisions.
Back in Englewood at the vigil for one of Chicago’s latest mass shootings, the victims’ families are forever torn apart by bullets.
No arrests have been made in the Englewood incident. Police said there have been calls of disturbances at the house where it happened, but otherwise, Supt. David Brown said the block is quiet. =