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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Wednesday May 22, 2024
Wednesday May 22, 2024

Tragic shooting at Chicago family gathering leaves nine-year-old dead, ten injured

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A devastating incident in Chicago’s back-of-the-yards neighbourhood resulted in the death of a young girl and multiple family members wounded during a family celebration

A horrific scene unfolded on Chicago’s South Side as gunfire erupted at a family gathering in the Back of the Yards neighbourhood, leaving a nine-year-old girl dead and ten others injured. The shooting, which took place around 9:18 p.m. on Saturday near 52nd Street and South Damen Avenue, has rocked the community and sparked a citywide outcry for action against gun violence.

Ariana Molina, just nine years old, was tragically killed when shooters, reportedly from a black sedan, opened fire on the crowd. Her father, Jose Molina, painfully recounted the chaos, initially mistaking the gunshots for fireworks. It wasn’t until he found his daughter fatally wounded that the grim reality set in.

In a heart-wrenching account, Jose Molina detailed the attack’s toll on his family, noting that besides his daughter, his wife and two nephews were among those critically injured. The adults injured include two men, aged 36 and 38, and five women, ranging from 19 to 40 years of age. The violence also affected three other boys, aged 1, 8, and 9, who are now fighting for their lives in hospital.

Chicago Police responded to the incident following a ShotSpotter alert that detected 18 gunshots. Preliminary investigations suggest the attack was targeted, adding to the complexities of gang-related violence that the neighbourhood has been struggling with.

The community’s response has been one of grief and strong condemnation. Chicago’s Mayor, Brandon Johnson, described the act as “heinous and cowardly,” emphasizing the city’s resolve to support the affected families and to enhance security measures, particularly in schools in the vicinity.

Local authorities, including Alderman Stephanie Coleman, echoed the sentiment, underscoring the need to combat the relentless wave of violence that continues to plague Chicago. Plans for a mass canvassing event have been set for Monday to provide community support and gather information that might lead to the apprehension of the suspects involved.

Jose Molina, still reeling from the loss, expressed his devastation over the premature death of his daughter, whom he remembered as the “best daughter ever,” highlighting her loving and playful nature. He also voiced his intention to move his family away from the violence-ridden neighbourhood, a plan tragically cut short by the shooting.

As the city mourns the loss of young Ariana and prays for the recovery of the injured, the urgency for a robust response to gun violence has never been clearer. The community and its leaders are calling for actionable solutions to ensure the safety of their neighbourhoods, making it clear that such acts of violence should have no place in society.

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