CHICAGO (CBS) — Two children were shot in Chicago within a period of three days recently, and now everyone is wondering – how do we keep these stories from getting lost in the numbers?
CBS 2’s Marissa Parra spoke exclusively with one of the young victims, who was shot on her way to get chips from the store this past Sunday. Brianna Garmon had something to say about why you should care.
“I heard gunshots and I started running,” said Brianna, 13. “I fell on the floor, and was like, ‘I’m only 13!’”
Brianna did not want to show us her face. At first we thought it was out of fear – but then she said to go ahead and use a photo of her that has been seen on the news before, because there, she looked pretty.
Brianna is shy, and worried about her hair – and she just wants to go back to school to see her friends. She’s 13, and she was shot twice in the abdomen around 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the 1600 block of South Homan Avenue in the Lawndale community.
“I’m only 13 I’ve never been shot. So it felt like; it burned like, ‘Psssh!’” she said.
Brianna’s lip quivers from her profile. She fidgets and pauses, unable to complete her sentences. And her mother said life since the shooting has been difficult in myriad ways.
“I could see it in her eyes. She was scared,” Brianna’s mother said.
“She’s scared to go outside now.”
Brianna’s mother is scared right along with her. So are many others.
“It was a scary situation, because we thought we were going to lose another child through gun violence,” said the Rev. Robin Hood of Greater Rock Missionary Baptist Church.
It was just a mile away on 26th Street near Lawndale Avenue in Little Village, three days earlier on Halloween, that 7-year-old Gisselle Zamago was shot in the neck while trick-or-treating – dressed as a ladybug. A 15-year-old boy has been charged with attempted murder in that case.
In a recent photo, Gisselle was seen coloring and watching “Finding Dory” in her hospital bed, with a gauze pad taped on her neck covering the bullet wound. That is her new normal.
It is another scar in Chicago’s history with violence.
“I don’t just want justice for my baby. I want justice for all the young kids – just like that little girl that got shot on Halloween,” Brianna’s mom said. “I want justice for all kids.”
CBS 2’s Parra spoke with Brianna and her family for about an hour, and then it was time for them to head back.
But with her wound still fresh from where the bullet pierced her belly, Brianna and her family are heading back to recover at a shelter.
She may not have a home, but she’s got a quiet message.
Parra: “If the person who did it is watching this, what is it that you would want to say to them?”
Brianna: “Put the guns down.”
The Rev. Robin Hood said he wants to help Brianna and her family find an affordable but more permanent place to move – away from the shelter she was shot feet away from.
He is talking to other pastors, but is asking for everyone who is interested in helping Brianna’s family to contact him. He asked that anyone who can help call him by at (773) 956-2650.