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Alderman Says Despite Mass Shooting, Program In Which Security Firm Partnered With Police In Englewood Was Success Overall

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A 14-year-old boy was among four people killed in a mass shooting on the night of July 4th in Englewood.

The shooting happened in a neighborhood where private security guards were brought in to help the Chicago Police Department stem the violence. CBS 2's Vi Nguyen spoke to organizers who said the program was still a success.

Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th) believes the partnership with police in the Englewood (7th) District was a success and what they did worked.

She said everything was peaceful up until the mass shooting at 61st and Carpenter streets at 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

Neighbors described it as chaos.

"It was messed up," said Donald Smith.

Smith lives near the intersection where eight people were shot in the mass shooting Saturday night.

Four of them died, including 14-year-old Vernado Jones. He was setting off fireworks when he was shot in the back.

Vernado Jones
Vernado Jones

A 30-year-old man identified as Ernest Franklin was also among those killed. The other two victims who died had not been identified Monday evening.

Two other boys, ages 11 and 15, were also both struck by gunfire and were reported in fair condition Sunday.

Two others, a 29-year-old man in fair condition and a 35-year-old man in critical condition, were being treated at St. Bernard Hospital as of Sunday.

"Look at all the people that got killed and shot," Smith said. "It don't make no sense. Don't make no sense."

Smith knows neighbors have to work together to keep the peace and get the shooters off the streets.

Ald. Coleman and other community groups had hoped to prevent the violence over the weekend, and even brought on a private security firm.

"My heart is heavy. Our community, we did so well this weekend with the exception of Saturday," Coleman said. "There are multiple factors of what could have happened; what should have, could have happened."

The alderman said Kates Security had more than 50 armed and unarmed security officers throughout the neighborhood. She said they worked all shifts from Friday morning to Sunday night, assigned to certain beats.

"They were out yesterday morning. I saw about seven cars leaving from my office to a few churches, and just kind of monitoring and observing in the neighborhood," Coleman said.

She could not provide a list of their exact locations. Kates Security told CBS 2 News they were asked to monitor, observe, and report for Chicago Police Beat 712.

The alderman said the security officers made calls to police to report criminal activity, but she could not say exactly how many calls were made and the breakdown.

So what about residents who may not have seen them?

"Maybe you should have been outside longer, because they were definitely there, even when you didn't see them," Coleman said.

So how much did it cost to hire the firm, and who footed the bill? Coleman said it was not paid for by taxpayers, and said Kates Security took on the mission free of charge.

When asked if this is something the alderman would do again in the future, she said she absolutely would, and she wants to do it more often.

We reached out to Kates Security for a breakdown of the calls made to police. We are told our request has been forwarded to the president of the firm.

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