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Mayor: Consoling Slain Kids’ Families ‘One Of The Hardest Parts Of My Job’

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks about two recent shootings in Chicago during an unrelated press conference on Aug. 9, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks about two recent shootings in Chicago during an unrelated press conference on Aug. 9, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel said on Tuesday that one of the hardest parts of his job is consoling the parents of a child who has been murdered – such as the family of 6-year-old Arianna Gibson, who was slain on Sunday in Englewood.

Arianna was shot and killed early Sunday morning as she slept on a couch in her grandmother’s home in Englewood. Two teenagers were also shot and police have been questioning a teenager in connection with the shooting.

Speaking at an unrelated news conference on Monday, Emanuel said he has visited Arianna’s family to show sympathy and support. He also chided reporters who asked if he was troubled by a shooting Monday evening on the State Street bridge in downtown Chicago, but did not also ask him about Arianna’s death.

“I don’t tolerate gun violence or any type of violence anywhere in our city, whether that’s downtown in the business district or whether that’s an innocent child sleeping in her grandmother’s home,” Emanuel added. “And I’ve got to be honest with you, I reject any value system that thinks that something happening in downtown is more important than happening in Englewood.”

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Emanuel said the shooting on the State Street bridge was intolerable, but so was Gibson’s death.

“I’m not happy about what happened at State and Wacker. It wasn’t random. On the other hand, I am not happy at what happened in Englewood,” Emanuel said. “I am not happy in any neighborhood and, in fact, one of the hardest parts of my job is I call the parents of children who are victims – either surviving or not – to comfort them.”

Arianna died Sunday morning after she was shot while sleeping on her grandmother’s couch when a person walked up on the front porch of the home and fired shots inside. Two teenagers – a 17-year-old female cousin of Arianna’s and a 17-year-old male family friend, were wounded in the shooting.

The family friend who was shot and was the alleged target of the gunman picked the suspect out of a lineup, a source said. The victim knew the shooter and where he lived, according to the source.

Police have been questioning the suspect, a 17-year-old boy, since Monday. The teen was picked up early Monday morning in the South Shore neighborhood after the male teenage victim identified him.

No charges had been filed as of Tuesday afternoon.

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