Near West side rally aims to end gun violence
A rally in this Near West side neighborhood aims to put an end to gun violence after last night's senseless shooting killed 20-month old Rashad Walker Jr.
"This is our community, this is our neighborhood and we have to come together somehow," said Fontaine Hayward. "The sad part is, this is how we are doing it."
Candles now burn by crosses and teddy bears. The memorial marks the spot where the innocent child got caught in the crossfire.
"These little kids, they don't have a choice in the matter.," said Raul Cita. "They didn't ask for this type of violence but this is the world we live in unfortunately. Hopefully, somewhere along the lines some of us can wake up and tell the next person how not to be so violent."
Police say the shooting may have been a form of retaliation. The toddler was hit by a stray bullet while sitting in a mini van.
Neighbors say the community needs to step up and call for change.
"It may get even worse before it gets better but as long as well all come together, we put our heads together. change will happen eventually," said Jennifer Baxtron, community organizer.
The homicide hits close to home for people like Fontaine Hayward, who knows the pain of gun violence all too well.
His brother was shot on the streets 1 year ago.
"This is just a vivid reminder to everybody--a bullet doesn't have anybody's name on it. It doesn't care what race, creed, color, your age--none of that matters. The only thing that does matter is it hurts a lot of people."