CHICAGO (CBS)–Robert Torres lives just three blocks from the overnight shooting that claimed the life of two year-old Julien Gonzalez in the Hermosa neighborhood on Saturday night.
As the founder of Parents for Peace and Justice, a nonprofit that supports families who lose loved ones to gun violence, Torres is no stranger to Chicago’s violence epidemic. The loss of his neighbor Gonzalez, however, hits especially close to home.
“It’s hard to just try to understand how this can happen not only in my community, but in our city,” Torres said. “We can no longer stand around and wait for things to continue to happen like this–I think we all play a part in trying to bring change to our city.”
The shooting happened Saturday night at a party attended by gang members on the 2200 block of North Kilbourn. A fight broke out between two women at the party, and it spilled out into an alley.
Moments later, someone started shooting. An 18 year-old boy was shot in the leg and survived.
The young boy was standing on the sidewalk near the mouth of the alley with the teenager, and was fatally struck in the neck with one of the bullets.
Alderman Gilbert Villegas (36th District) said the teenager who was standing with Gonzalez was an innocent bystander.
Villegas hosted a community meeting Monday night to encourage anyone with information on the shooter to come forward.
We want to show the community that this is our neighborhood,” Villegas said. “This community belongs to us and we’re not going to be beholden and we’re not going to be dragged down by any type of gang bangers.”