Deadly violence marred the celebration of Independence Day in Chicago: The four-day weekend saw 74 people shot, leading to 12 deaths and numerous hospital cases, according to the Chicago Tribune. As WLS-TV reports, among the wounded was five-year-old Jaden Donald, who was watching a fireworks display in a West Pullman park when he was accidentally shot by a gang member. Donald’s mother spoke to the press during a vigil for her son outside Christ Children’s Hospital:
“It don’t take but a second, being at the wrong place, at the wrong time,” said Jasmine Donald. “In a park where kids are playing shouldn’t be the wrong place for a child to enjoy themselves.”
She also had a message for 24-year-old Darrell Chambers, the man identified as Jaden’s shooter and now charged with attempted homicide. “Where was your head at? What kind of person with what kind of morals and values?” she asked.
On Sunday, Illinois governor Pat Quinn drew attention to the shootings in an effort to build support for his amendments to the state’s new concealed-carry legislation. Declared Quinn, “To have 67 people shot just since last Wednesday evening in one city alone and eleven of them killed, that should be an alarm bell to all of us that we need strong laws that protect the public safety, especially when it comes to guns.”
Meanwhile, local talk-radio station WVON is pleading with Chicagoans themselves to stop the violence. According to WBBM-TV, a morning host on the radio station told listeners, “Many of you have called for the National Guard as an extreme measure. Some of you are ready for concealed carry, and saying we’ve got to take matters in our own hand[s].” Another host demanded that parents take responsibility for their families: “I say engage these young people in your community. Start raising your kids. You can’t blame Mr. McCarthy [the Chicago Police superintendent] because you raised a fool, and you’re a fool your d*** self.”