Back of the Yards Holds Vigil Following Tragic Shooting

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

By: Ashmar Mandou

Following Saturday’s Back of the Yards shooting that left 10 wounded and 9-year-old Ariana Molina dead, dozens of mourners took to the streets of Back of the Yards on Monday afternoon to speak out against the increase in gun violence in Chicago.

In response, the Chicago police and community organizations opened an emergency assistance center near the scene of the shooting at the center at Richard J. Daley Academy, 5024 S. Wolcott Avenue and was open to the public.

“We are here to serve all the victims of gun violence,” Glen Brooks, director of community policing for the Chicago Police Department, said at a news conference Tuesday morning. “You do not need a police report in order to get these services. All of these services are free. The goal here is to start that journey of healing.” There were at least 48 people shot over the weekend, including 11 shot during a single attack Saturday night in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

Family members were outside, in the 2000 block of West 52nd Street, celebrating a relative’s confirmation when gunmen opened fire, killing 9-year-old Ariana Molina. Three other children and seven adults were also wounded. A 1-year-old boy and a 7-year-old boy were each shot multiple times and were in critical condition Saturday night. A 9-year-old boy suffered a graze wound to his left pinky finger and was in good condition. Officials said the ages of the adult victims ranged from 19 to 40 — and Ariana’s mother was one of them.

Following the shooting, Mayor Brandon Johnson released a statement addressing the tragedy. “We mourn the loss of a 9-year-old girl whose life was tragically taken from her by gang violence. This heinous and cowardly act of wanton violence that leaves our city mourning children is beyond reprehensible and has no place in our communities,” said Mayor Johnson. “I am also praying for the recovery of the three children and seven adults who were injured in this horrific shooting. Our Mayor’s Office of Community Safety has been in contact with the Chicago Police Department, which is committed to identifying and apprehending the individuals responsible.” Community organizations are now offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the case being solved. At the time of publishing, no arrests have been made in connection with the Back of the Yards shooting.

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