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2 Mothers Share Their Tragic Gun-Violence Stories

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Brenda Copeland, left, and Sheila Drake have both lost sons to gun violence this month in Chicago. (CBS)

Brenda Copeland, left, and Sheila Drake have both lost sons to gun violence this month in Chicago. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Parents in Roseland and Pullman say they’re fed up and are demanding something be done about the gun violence plaguing the neighboring communities. 

Sheila Drake and Brenda Copeland share a common fate: They have both lost sons.

On July 4, Copeland’s son, Martell Fields, was shot to death near 107th and Wentworth.  A group of people were fighting.  A man pulled a gun and just started shooting.

“I’m looking at the police records and the papers they gave me and to see ‘first-degree murder’ next to your child’s name, it’s just unbelievable,” Copeland told CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot. “Something has to be done in this community.”

On July 12, Drake’s 17-year-old son, Cordre Hayes, was fatally shot near 119th and Normal.  Drake says Hayes had been playing basketball nearby when a fight broke out at the corner. 

Someone pulled out a gun, and opened fire.  Drake says she feels like a prisoner in her own community.

The killing makes her want to “take the rest of my kids and my cat and run,” she said.

In light of the recent shootings, the Rev. Gregory Livingston of Mission of Faith Baptist Church in Roseland plans to converge on City Hall Friday with the families of recent gun violence and members of CeaseFire. 

While police roll calls have taken place in West Pullman earlier this year, Livingston says more needs to be done.

He said his group wants to talk with Mayor Emanuel and tell him, “Here’s how we want you to help us help you.”

Ald. Anthony Beale, whose 9th Ward covers both Roseland and Pullman, said he has been asking for more police resources.

He issued this written statement to CBS 2: “I have been at the forefront of calling for police reallocation to communities that need the most help, especially during summer months.  I continue to fight for additional resources, as the current strategy is like putting a small patch over a big open wound.  While my ward has a thriving Little League, Chicago Park District activities remain underutilized.  There is a community center incorporated into the Pullman Park Development, which we will aggressively promote to get kids involved in positive activity.  However, we still need more positive alternatives for our youth.  I share the grief and anger expressed by my neighbors over the tragic consequences of insufficient city attention paid to these issues.”

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