CHICAGO (CBS) — As we wrap up the bloodiest month in Chicago in 20 years, a community fights back.
This afternoon, hundreds took to the streets, calling for peace. And this evening, hundreds more are paying their respects to one of the latest victims of the violence.
CBS2’s Audrina Bigos reports from Oak Park, where a vigil planned for Elijah Sims in Scoville Park, ended late Wednesday evening.
Instead of celebrating what would’ve been Sims’ 17th birthday, he’s now added to a list of more than 80 people in Chicago this month to die.
“He was another life that is gone too young because this city, this state, this country is still a walking war zone for black boys,” an attendee of the memorial said.
Sims was shot Monday while out with friends in the Austin neighborhood. He died Tuesday morning.
“Elijah’s represents the 28th kid under the age 16 and under, who’s been killed by gun violence in Chicago this year alone,” Commissioner Richard Boykin said at the memorial.
So far, at least 487 people have been slain in Chicago this year–more than New York City and Los Angeles combined.
“If violence isn’t at your doorstep now, it will be at your doorstep tomorrow,” another attendee said.
And still, Sims’ mother, Sharita Galloway, pleads, “If anyone knows anything about who killed by son, please, please call.”
Another fight against violence happened in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood Wednesday.
After marching from St. Sabina Church, community leaders are saying “Enough is enough.”
“I want to know what the plan is. I want to know what the strategy is. I want to know what are we going to do about this except keep hearing the numbers and the embarrassment tags on our city around the world,” Fr. Michael Pfleger, of St. Sabina says.
Chicago police say homicides are up 50 percent this year compared with last year. But as an activist told the crowd, “This is much bigger than numbers and statistics.”