A 9-year-old Chicago boy was shot and killed Friday as he played outside, generating outrage throughout the city at a time when the number of murders has nearly tripled from the previous year.
Janari Ricks was playing about 6 p.m. on Friday (July 31) at the Cabrini-Green public housing development when a gunman opened fire on a group of people behind the townhomes, CNN reports.
“He says, ‘Mom, can I come outside and play?’ and I said, ‘Sure,’” his mother, Jalisa Ford, tells CBS-Channel 2. “And when he went out, he never came back home.”
The news outlet reports that not only was Ricks excellent at sports he was great at math, loved by everyone and was on his way to the gifted and talented program.
“I’m not mad at nobody. I just need answers on why,” Ford said. “When is it going to stop?”
The public outcry of Chicago for gun violence to stop has continued to echo this year since mid-June with at least 16 children under the age of 10 being shot in the city, and five succumbing to their injuries including Janari Ricks, CBS-Channel 2 reports.
July was a deadly month for the city. The number of murders jumped to 105 from 44 last year. The month began with the fatal shootings of a 7-year-old and a 14-year-old, CNN notes. The month also included a drive-by shooting of 15 people at the funeral for another victim of a drive-by shooting, police said. One weekend saw at least 49 people shot, seven of them fatally. The wounded included seven teenage boys, the report says.
“When a 9 year old’s life is ended by a bullet, we must all be outraged,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a series of tweets on Saturday (August 1). “These deaths are not mere statistics. And prayers alone will not sooth a broken heart.”
The mayor went on to call gun violence a public health crisis, drawing parallels to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s well past time that we as a nation begin aggressively treating it through wraparound services, mental health supports and street outreach interventions, support for our community police officers, and -- yes -- federal gun control to keep firearms from falling into the wrong hands.”
Mayor Lightfoot is encouraging the public to come forward to tips leading to an arrest.
Anyone with any details on the crime is asked to contact cpdtip.com, all information will be kept confidential.
(Photo credit: Getty Images)