Though Chicago officials contend that the wave of violence is abating, there were six people killed and 28 others wounded in shootings over the weekend. One of the injured victims, a 7-year-old boy, was shot on his front step while bringing a bicycle inside and his mother says he’s now afraid to go outside a week before the start of school.
From Friday to Sunday night, six men between ages 19 and 35 died from gunshots, while 26 other men, a young boy and a woman were injured.
In the shooting of the 7-year-old boy, Tavion Jackson, police are questioning a “person of interest.”
The boy was released from Mt. Sinai Hospital after he was struck while walking a bicycle up the front steps of his home around 9 p.m. in the neighborhood of West Garfield, according to police.
The boy’s mother, Tasha McDuffie, said Tavion is “traumatized and afraid to come outside.”
He was hit twice, in the arm and under the arm, as shots rang out in the neighborhood that is right outside Charles Sumner Math & Science Academy, where school starts in a week.
“He just raised his arm and said that he had been shot,” his mother told reporters.
She said they had just come home from a family picnic and Tavion was helping his cousin bring her bike into the house while the rest of the family brought the other children inside.
“He’s a kid,” McDuffie said. “He’s supposed to be able to play outdoors. … You should be able to go into the house and get ready for bed and go to school like normal kids, but instead he gets shot going inside the house.”
After the two shots, neighbors said they saw two men running through the school courtyard.
Residents said the neighborhood is considered a safe haven for kids.
“This is the safest part of the neighborhood for them to play,” resident Lavell Tubbs said, “so all the kids come out and play right here by the school, so I really didn’t expect anything like this to happen.”
“Nothing like this ever happened here,” neighbor Jeanette Pruitt said. “This is the first time.”
Though there were six deaths and 28 shootings, it still represents an improvement from the same weekend in 2012, when there were 34 shootings and seven murders.