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'I Sacrificed Everything For Him,' Says Mom Of Teen Killed 1 Of 2 In Back-To-Back Mass Shootings In North Lawndale; Police Question 3 Persons Of Interest

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Police late Thursday were questioning three persons of interest in connection with a pair of mass shootings that happened blocks apart within minutes in North Lawndale the night before.

Police did not specify late Thursday which shooting each person of interest is suspected in, or whether the shootings are now believed to be related.

A 14-year-old boy identified as Damarion Benson was killed and nine other people were wounded between the two mass shootings, which happened three blocks apart Wednesday evening.

The first shooting happened near Douglas Boulevard and Christiana Avenue shortly after 6 p.m. Five people were shot, including Damarion.

A 16-year-old boy was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in "grave" condition, police said. He was identified as Davion Wright by his aunt, Janice Warren.

"He was out there because one of their friends had just died. He came through just to support and go back home," Warren said.

He never made it home. Instead he was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital. He's now on a ventilator.

Meanwhile, Damarion's mother, Brittany Benson, recalls the constant worry she had whenever he left the house.

Damarion Benson
Damarion Benson (Supplied by Family)

"I sacrificed everything for him," Benson told CBS 2's Jermont Terry. "I just don't want to be one of those moms that get a phone call saying my baby is dead."

Yet Wednesday, her fears turned into reality when that gunman opened fire on that West Side crowd. Benson – who was born with congenital glaucoma and is partially blind – said she lost more than her son.

"He was my eyes," she said. "Like, if I couldn't see nothing on a piece of paper, he would come read it for me."

Ms. Benson is hoping those with guns will clearly see the pain they're causing, after learning nearly 14 people altogether were shot in a matter of hours in Chicago.

Terry: "What do you tell that young man or woman carrying a gun who thinks it's OK to shoot somebody?"

Benson: "Put guns down. Y'all are not God. Who are y'all to take someone's child's life?"

Benson said her son had just been released from juvenile detention two weeks earlier, but she said it played no role in his death.

"But you're not going to label him a troubled kid because he wasn't that, because he was raised by me - a loving mom," Benson said. "I cared for my child. I'm not going to let - just because he had juvenile record - define his character."

Three other victims – two 24-year-old men and a 22-year-old man – were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. One of the 24-year-olld men was shot in the left shin and the other in the right hip, while the 22-year-old man was shot in the left foot. Their conditions were all stabilized.

The second shooting happened five minutes later at Douglas Boulevard and Ridgeway Avenue. Five more people were shot there, Cato said.

A sport-utility vehicle was left flipped over in the middle of the street in the aftermath.

Police said in that incident at 6:11 p.m., a 15-year-old boy was shot in the right leg, a 17-year-old boy suffered a graze wound to the back, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the right arm, and a 22-year-old man was shot in the right thigh. Those four victims were all reported in good condition – the first two were taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County, the other two to Mount Sinai Hospital.

The fifth victim, an 18-year-old man, was shot in the upper body and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition.

Later on Wednesday, a party bus at a gas station at Clark Street and LaSalle Drive in Lincoln Park/Old Town was shot up when gunmen drove up targeting people inside. A security guard and bus driver among eight hit. All should survive.

"We are in a battle for the heart and soul of some of these communities as it relates to violence," said Chicago Police Supt. David Brown.

Brown said as detectives investigated, many surviving victims were not talking.

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