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CHICAGO (CBS) – Residents in the Englewood neighborhood turned their attention to the city’s spate of gun violence this weekend.
At 69th Street and Emerald Avenue on Saturday, about 70 community members gathered to find a way to stop the violence in their neighborhood.
Audrey Wright lost her only son during a drive-by shooting 15 years ago.
“The pain everyday, it never goes away,” she said. “I don’t care how long it’s been, it’s always there.”
She says it’s up to parents to save their children.
“If we as mothers will start examining our children’s rooms, examining where they are going, take out for your child,” she says.
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After the death of her son, Gordie, Wright started a foundation to teach job skills to ex-felons — hers is the kind of work that would be useful in an Englewood community center — if the neighborhood had one. Jean Carter-Hill, Executive Director of the “Imagine Englewood If” Foundation says she wants this meeting to develop a roadmap for it.
“We know it will help, because we have too many children who have nowhere to go,” she explained.
Carter-Hill said the new center could provide after-school programs, GED training and job skills, as well as parenting classes. She hopes to establish a comprehensive approach for the community center, and get neighbors to commit doing their part.
Meanwhile, just blocks away, Lawrence Walls Sr. and about 30 volunteers distributed flyers to drivers and neighbors asking for more information on the year-old murder of his 22-year old son Lawrence Walls, Jr.
Walls Sr. said police haven’t done enough.
“With the information that they have and that we’ve given them, someone should’ve been brought in for questioning — at least questioning,” he said.
Walls Jr. was found shot in the head in his rental car near the intersection of Ada and 70th Streets in Englewood on the South Side, April 19, 2011. Witnesses have said two individuals exited the vehicle and fled the scene.
The father says this is the second time he and neighbors have canvassed the neighborhood in search of information.
“I’m on a mission, I won’t stop until justice has been served,” he said. “I”m just hoping someone will call in and give information that leads to an arrest.”
Cook County Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for the crime.