Chicagoans speak out on city violence: 'We can do a whole lot better'

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - It’s been a violence start to the year already, and some Chicagoans say the situation in our city is disheartening, hopeless and beyond repair.

“It can strike in a moment’s notice, it could strike even while we are sitting right here in this barbershop,” said Chicagoan Tony Smith.

He was born and raised in Chicago and FOX 32 found him Tuesday night at Classy Images barbershop on the city’s South Side. The stand-alone business was hopping on the weekday night as music played and barbers kept busy cutting hair.

Smith said random or targeted, the violence is everywhere nowadays. You have to watch your back and stay aware of your surroundings.

Randy Miles owns the barbershop and also grew up on the South Side.

“The City of Chicago, we can do a whole lot better,” he said.

Miles' barbershop is in the Washington Heights neighborhood close to Chicago’s city limits.

On Monday night, just a couple blocks away, police responded to a fatal shooting near 106th and Sangamon.

Senclair Hill, 25-years-old, was shot in the back while sitting behind the wheel of his car. Police said Hill then drove off after being shot and crashed his car. He died a short time later.

Just two blocks away and one night later, more police activity in the Washington Heights neighborhood as police followed a speeding car into a residential area and residents called 911 to report shots fired. No one was struck.

“At this point, no, nothing surprises me right now,” said Miles, who doesn’t think the neighborhood is particularly dangerous, but said the Chicago violence isn’t contained in just one area.

“We got kids going to funerals for kids. They are desensitized – so how do you put hope into the hopeless at that point?,” said Smith.

These Chicagoans said more has to be done, but what? Smith suggests a conversation with our younger generations.

“Address the kids and really get a chance to see what their needs are, what they deem the problem is,” he said.

They also agreed it’s a community problem from the top down. Everyone can do better, the mayor, the police and families. They said one problem now is the lack of trust between city and the community.

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