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Undaunted In Face Of Shootings, Englewood Residents March In Back To School Parade

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Hours after eight people were wounded in two shootings in Englewood, members of that beleaguered South Side community gathered for an annual back to school parade, seeking to put a stop to the violence.

The Englewood Back To School Parade stepped off Saturday morning, with neighbors dancing and parading down Halsted, 63rd Street, and Racine to Ogden Park, taking them within blocks of a pair of shootings overnight.

"They're going back to school, so it's positive instead of shootings and all of that," Mattie Carter said.

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Just before midnight Friday night, a 15-year-old boy was shot in the chest while sitting inside a home near 68th and Hoyne, when a stray bullet crashed through a window. A few hours earlier, a 3-year-old boy and six other people were wounded in a shooting near 65th and Ashland.

"I heard about at least eight or nine shots going off. I got on the phone and called the police," Shauntae Thomas said.

Hours after the two shootings in her neighborhood, Thomas and her neighbors were pulling out their grills, cooking and getting together on the street for a block party. The block was filled with children, as police officers kept watch.

"We have the police riding around here every five to ten minutes," Thomas said. "We need more to go with them. So it would be peaceful if we had more police out here."

Police said approximately 400 officers are deployed in Englewood at any given time. That's one of the largest deployments in the city.

When police deployed extra officers to five districts a few weeks ago, in response to the most violent weekend of the year, Englewood was not included.

However, the department pointed to a large network of surveillance cameras in Englewood, as well as gunshot detection sensors which activate at the sound of gunfire.

Neighbors said fighting crime in the area is up to the community as well.

"Stop being scared. It's the only way this violence gong to end. You have to speak to someone. I don't care if it's a community's activist, your mayor, your alderman, your government. Speak out. Come as one and talk," Thomas said.

Police said new technology helped spot and capture someone getting into a white car after the mass shooting in Englewood. However, no one was in custody in either of the neighborhood's shootings as of Saturday afternoon.

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