CHICAGO (FOX 32 / STMW) - Six people, including two children, were found slain in a home Thursday afternoon on the Southwest Side. Sources told FOX 32 that some victims were stabbed to death, while others were fatally shot.
News of the grim discovery brought a lot of folks out of their homes. Some of the people FOX 32 talked to were shocked by the grizzly details, although they were not surprised that it happened.
Rosa De La Torre learned the news via her cell phone that a close, personal friend was likely among the six people found dead inside a Gage Park home by Chicago Police officers.
Neighbors told FOX-32 that gang activity along their stretch of South California Street has increased in recent years and has made them feel less safe inside and outside of their homes.
"It seems like instead of getting better around here it's getting worse...I mean as far as people getting shot, people losing their lives, it makes no sense," says 18-year resident David Lopez.
Lettie Magas' family has lived on this street form more than 30-years. She says any question about neighborhood safety depends on the time of day.
"I feel safe as long as it's daylight out, but when it gets dark, I'm not going out," she said.
South California is also home to a number of families. Priscilla Lopez told FOX-32 that she now worries about her young daughter's safety.
"It's scary you know. It makes me not want to even come outside,” she said.
Markita Williams, another neighbor, said a family had lived in the home for at least the last three years.
The family included a woman with two sons, who were grade-school age, and her parents, Williams said. She said the woman was separated or divorced from her husband, who has since gone home to Mexico.
Williams said she was unaware of any problems at the home and didn’t recall police being called there before.
Williams said could not remember when she last saw the family. She said her 21-year-old son last saw one of the young neighbor boys when Williams’ son returned home from work at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
At noon Wednesday, Williams said she knocked on her neighbors’ door because she noticed the grandfather’s van parked on the street and was worried it might be towed — because the city was due to do some street repairs.
“I didn’t get an answer,” Williams said. She noticed something else unusual — the curtains were all closed.
“They keep their curtains open all the time,” Williams said.
She added that she had looked out her window about 5 p.m. Wednesday and noticed that the van still hadn’t been moved.
Another neighbor, David Lopez, has lived about two blocks north of the crime scene since 1997.
“It’s sad to see,” Lopez said. “It seems like instead of getting better, things around here are getting worse.”
As more friends learned of what happened, they struggled to understand.
"No problems, no drugs, no nothing. This family is clean, no problem," said family friend Susana Luna.
Two days ago, friends of the older boy said he was acting a little strange.
"I saw him (Leo) two days ago, and the Monday he had an early dismissal and I don't know why, but two days before he was actually very kinda sad," said Aaron Villazana.
"It's like shock for me cause I haven't had a friend got killed, it's really sad, it's really sad," Emmanuel Hernandez said.