Karyn Banks and her 11-year-old grandson Jareed Johnson put up a poster in memory of Darrin Rodgers. (Credit: Steve Miller)
CHICAGO (CBS) — In the aftermath of a violent night, a memorial rises on the South Side to one of the victims and neighbors there wonder about their future and their safety.
WBBM’s Steve Miller was at 69th and Cornell–at the site of a makeshift memorial to a 27-year-old man who was shot and killed there-.
It was the first homicide of May.
Jareed Johnson is 11 years old. Early Wednesday morning, he watched as his neighbor was dying of a gunshot wound.
He is asked what he wants to be when he grows up.
“I want to be a mortician or a basketball player.”
“R.I.P., Darrin,” he wrote on the memorial to Darrin Rodgers.
Anwar Hodges also signed the memorial, and explained why an 11-year-old boy might want to aspire to be a mortician.
“A lot of times when you coming up, you see so much death, you know what I mean? Being a mortician is a thriving business these days. A thriving business.”
At 11-years-old, Jareed Johnson is already contemplating his own mortality.
“If I die, I want to die in my sleep,” he said. “I don’t want to jinx it or nothing, but I don’t want to lose my life to gun violence.”
Karyn Banks lives on the corner where Rodgers was shot and killed.
“He stayed alive for at least about 5 minutes. And then I saw him take his last breath.”
More than 12 hours later, a man walks out to his car that’s parked on the corner.
“What? I’ve got a bullet hole in my car, and I didn’t even know it.”
The conversation shifts to the warm weather. The summer to come. And safety.
“Try to stay safe. If you ain’t got nothing to do, stay in the house. They looking for a war.”
Another woman fantasizes about what she might do–if she felt safe.
“Probably taking a walk for the evening and come in the house and relax for the next day. And enjoy the weather.
“There’s a whole big world we need to see, and they’re doing this. You can’t go nowhere.”