Pastors and community leaders in Chicago gathered on Tuesday to galvanize city residents to come together after 12 people were killed and 54 others were injured in shootings over the weekend.
Darius Randall, a local pastor, talked about the “carnage” and “evil plaguing our society.”
“We have to come together as a society. We have to come together as a church,” Randall said.
Pastor James Brooks said that he was out of town over the weekend but when he heard about the shootings “it broke my heart.”
“We can’t stand it anymore ... we must save our children,” Brooks said. “Now is not the time to point fingers... it’s the time to say ‘What can we do?’”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Department superintendent Eddie Johnson have also called on the community to help solve the yet-unsolved shootings from this weekend and to take action to prevent further violence.
Dr. Faran Bokhari, the chairman of the trauma team at Stroger Hospital where a number of the weekend’s victims were taken, spoke about the need for “some sensible gun laws.”
“The number is not that important ... what’s more important is why this is happening and how do we stop it?” Bokhari said.
He noted how Illinois has very “strict” gun laws but “it doesn’t help if our neighboring states don’t agree with us.”