Family, friends of slain Army vet call for end to violence

It was an extremely violent weekend in Chicago. By early Sunday evening, 7 people had been shot dead and 41 others wounded.

It was an extremely violent weekend in Chicago.  By early Sunday evening, 7 people had been shot dead and 41 others wounded.

There was one stretch during which someone was getting shot nearly every half hour, over the course of 14 hours.

One innocent victim’s family called for end the bloodshed on Sunday.

Family and friends of 23-year-old Army veteran, Abner Garcia marched from his high school alma mater, Curie to the place where his life was taken last weekend.

“We're broken. We're completely broken," said Garcia’s aunt, Maria L. Ortega.

Family members are fighting through their grief over the loss of Garcia.

The veteran returned from service last year and came home to mentor kids at the YMCA to keep them out of gangs.  One of the young men he mentored spoke at his memorial.

He told the crowd, "Abner was like my brother, that I never had. And thanks to him my life changed."

Abner was shot and killed as he drove on South Pulaski near 52nd street by men said to be throwing gang signs.

Gang violence continues to plague Chicago's streets.

The bloodshed continued through the weekend, in the Marquette Park neighborhood, in the 7000 block of South Artesian. Around 3 a.m., a 25-year-old man got into an argument with another, according to Chicago Police. He was found dead with a gunshot wound to head. So far, police have no suspect in custody.

The same goes for the Garcia family. His killer is still out there.

That's why his family, friends and other veterans walked down the same street where he took his last breath, asking for justice.

“We need to stop the violence and we need to come together finally, man. Finally,” said Ortega. “My husband said out of every tragedy, there's a reason for it, something good comes out of it. And I hope something good comes out of this."

It's hard for Garcia's family to see the good through so much bad. But, his mother, Elizabeth Juarez is left with a reminder of her son-- who loved batman and most of all...His family.

“My son was a hero, not just for his country, but he was my hero," said Juarez.

 

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