CHICAGO (CBS) — A group of religious and community leaders in Chicago called for a new way to end gun violence, saying what City Hall is doing isn’t working.
Several clergy members gathered at Stroger Hospital on Tuesday to pray for the victims of this weekend’s gun violence across Chicago. Doctors wouldn’t say how many of the weekend’s 66 gunshot victims were treated at Stroger, but the head of the trauma department said at least three people were dead on arrival.
Tuesday morning, a group of pastors visited Stroger Hospital to thank doctors and other staffers for their hard work to help the shooting victims who were treated there.
After a song outside the hospital, the faith leaders went inside to pray with the medical staff, and meet with families of gunshot victims. The pastors also wanted to remind patients being treated for gunshot wounds that they can turn to the church for guidance.
The effort also was intended to send a message to the shooters responsible for the bloodshed.
Several of the victims of this weekend’s gun violence were under the age of 18.
Police said many of the shootings were targeted. Investigators suspect gang members trying to avenge friends’ deaths fired into crowds, but missed their intended targets and hit innocent bystanders.
Families cried into each others’ arms at Stroger Hospital over the weekend. Some even fell to the ground, overwhelmed with grief.
Pastors gathered at the hospital Tuesday morning to call for change from within the city’s communities.
“Drug sales, prostitution is helping these kids survive. So if we don’t offer an alternative, they’re going to continue to do what they’re doing,” said Apostle David Rodgers, of The House of Prayer for All Nations.
Rev. Darius Randle said there needs to be more accountability for the parents of teenagers responsible for shootings.
“The parents are not raising their kids right. They’re not all bad parents out there, but there are a whole lot of them that’s not raising their kids right,” he said.
To help, the church leaders suggested more support for parenting programs, and better resources for jobs, especially in the trade industry.