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Anti-gun violence activisits urge Chicago to take action ahead of summer

Gun violence concerns rise as summer nears
Gun violence concerns rise as summer nears 02:19

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A shooting that left a 9-year-old girl dead and 10 other people injured in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood is the ninth mass shooting in the area this year. 

It's a stark reality that is raising concerns as summer nears. Statistics show that violence often surges in the summer months. 

This latest mass shooting has left many on high alert.

According to the online database Gun Violence Archive, in those nine mass shootings, 21 people were killed and 31 others wounded. 

Community advocates pressure the city to roll out more effective strategies focusing on youth intervention and mental health. Some have issued a warning following the tragedy on the city's Southwest Side Saturday night. 

"We are in trouble, Chicago, and some people need to realize the trouble we're in," said street pastor Donovan Price. "Some people need to recognize the trouble they are in. Otherwise, we're all going to be in a world of trouble. It's going to be hot tomorrow. It's going to be hot this summer." 

In response to Saturday night's shooting, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson called the tragedy "beyond reprehensible" and announced response plan, which will include a mass canvassing event happening in the neighborhood on Monday. Then the community will get access to behavioral teams, victim services and case management. 

Read the full statement below: 

Today, we mourn the loss of an 8-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.

We are all allowed to be outraged today – a warm, spring day that I am sure this child would have been enjoying with family. I am praying for her loved ones and her community as they experience the unimaginable pain of losing a child. 

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. 

The Community Safety Coordination Center has developed an initial response plan, which, among other resources, will consist of: 

  • A mass canvassing event at 52nd and Damen and surrounding blocks on Monday, April 15, at 2 p.m. with the purpose of providing the community access to behavioral teams, victim services and case management 
  • Financial support for the family of the child who passed away via the Emergency Supplemental Victim's Fund program
  • Emergency Services Assistance Center, starting today, April 14
  • Victim services to other victims and families 
  • Increased 9th District CPD presence at impacted schools

As the CPD and our partners work through their investigation, the Back of the Yards community has the full support of our administration as they process and heal from this trauma.

In recent years, the Chicago Police Department has rolled out strategies to deal with the uptick of violence, especially as the weather gets warmer, and data suggests it has been effective. 

Shootings both fatal and non-fatal compared to this time last year are down 3.6%. But multi-victim shootings, which include mass shootings, are up a concerning 8.2%.

Rodney Phillips has been a violence prevention outreach worker for more than 15 years. Addressing and preventing conflicts, he says, must come from those who know the community. 

"You have to have a license to operate in these communities," he said. "You have to be from these communities. People don't care. You have to show them how much you care. 

As the investigation into Saturday night's fatal shooting continues, the city announced it will be providing financial support for the family of the child who died.

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