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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 6/9/2001 5:56:08 PM EDT
Mother feels pain of having only child killed Shooters sought cousin, she says By Rick Hepp Tribune staff reporter June 7, 2001 Regina Jones was walking to a nearby store when she heard gunshots and turned around to see people running from her West Side home. She ran back to find her only child, 15-year-old Martin, lying in a chair on the porch. "I kept calling out to my son, but he wasn't responding," she said, looking at the spot where the 8th grader was shot Tuesday night. "When I got to him, I saw his eyes roll back in his head and I felt his shoulder, and when I pulled my hand back, it was full of blood." Police said the slaying remains under investigation, but Jones thinks the shots that killed her son were intended for her cousin, who was visiting the family and was on the porch at the time. She said her cousin was involved in criminal activities and had crossed the wrong people. "They started shooting at him," she said, "but all the bullets hit my son." Martin Jones, whom family and friends described as an affable child who steered clear of violence, lived in a first-floor apartment of a West Garfield Park two-flat with his single, disabled mother, grandmother, great-uncle and two uncles. A student at Melody Elementary School, he was set to attend summer school before starting at Marshall High School next fall. Police said Martin was standing on the porch at about 9:25 p.m. Tuesday in the 4400 block of West Congress Parkway when two gunmen ran up and fired several shots, striking the boy in the chest and abdomen. A neighbor said she saw the gunmen run up the gangway from behind the house, climb the porch stairs and open fire. "I heard the gun, and I saw flashes," the neighbor said. "One jumped over the railing, and the other ran away." Martin was pronounced dead less than two hours later in the Mt. Sinai Hospital emergency room, said a spokeswoman for the Cook County medical examiner's office. Bullets from a 9 mm and a .45-caliber gun were recovered from the boy's body, she said. While police continued to search for the suspects on Wednesday, Martin's family and friends remembered him as a cheerful child who stayed close to home and enjoyed playing sports and video games. Willie Davis, the boy's great-uncle, recalled how Martin and his mother would sit on the porch and sell snow cones on warm summer days. "When it was hot out, they made some good money," he said. Lionel Lemon, 18, a close family friend, said Martin was always dressed fashionably. "He was always dressed to impress" girls his age, Lemon said. Yolanda Jordan, a neighbor who was shot by a stray bullet last year, said Martin used to play basketball with her children. "He was a sweet kid who respected all grown-up people," she said. "It's scary because I got kids too, and you can't always watch their every move." "It's not even safe to sit on the porch, to walk to the store or even be in your living room or dining room. It's bad everywhere you go, and when the weather breaks, it's going to get worse."
Link Posted: 6/9/2001 6:02:11 PM EDT
Communities mobilize to protest gun violence By Heather Vogell Tribune staff reporter June 3, 2001 Mayra Guzman wants her neighbors to help stop violence in Logan Square, even if that just means picking up the phone and dialing 911. Though fear keeps many people from reporting crimes, Guzman was one of hundreds who marched loudly through city streets Saturday to protest the all-too-frequent shootings that have plagued their neighborhoods. Guzman participated "to support my community," she said. "There's a lot of people who are getting killed and it's not being noticed." City leaders and residents of 10 neighborhoods throughout Chicago held rallies, marches and prayer sessions during the second annual "Ceasefire Weekend" to combat gun violence. Cardinal Francis George is scheduled to participate on Sunday. Rain did not hamper the Logan Square march, where participants donned anti-violence T-shirts and buttons before hoisting banners and signs and setting off. In that neighborhood in April alone, eight people were killed and three wounded in shootings, said Maggie Pagan, who works to prevent violence with the Alliance of Logan Square Organizations. "A lot of these kids think violence is a way of life and it's not," she said. "It's really important for a community to get involved and really respond to what's happening." The Chicago Project for Violence Prevention, an organizer of the weekend's events, is seeking funding to expand its anti-violence efforts in Chicago neighborhoods, said Martin Castro, a member of the group's advisory board. One measure would be to hire more outreach workers to deal directly with gang members. When a shooting takes place in Logan Square, community leaders immediately hold prayer vigils and reach out to those who need support in the neighborhood of about 82,000 residents, said Carmen E. Alicea-Reyes, the alliance's executive director. She said the proactive approach has been comforting to residents. "People are feeling safer, people are building relationships, people are connecting with each other," she said.
Link Posted: 6/9/2001 6:04:33 PM EDT
Yes, this is a failure of gun control, Chicago having very tight gun laws. But the anti's won't see it that way. They will use it as a push for even more gun control, disregarding the fact that the punks who did this were already disregarding the existing law.
Link Posted: 6/9/2001 6:07:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/9/2001 6:05:16 PM EDT by Hank]
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