Chicago: America's mass-shooting capital

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Despite high-profile shooting sprees like the one in Oregon last week, it's Chicago that is now officially known as the mass shooting capital of America.

On Thursday, ‘Chiraq’ director Spike Lee noted the designation with an Instagram post.

And on Thursday night, hundreds of people gathered at Soldier Field with the news heavy on their minds.

‘Strides for Peace’ held a run at Soldier Field to raise awareness about the violence in Chicago. The timing makes the fundraiser particularly poignant in light of the mass shooting at the college in Oregon and the horribly violent way September ended with two mass-shootings in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

The sound of an air horn replaced the usual starter's pistol for the beginning of this race. But in many of Chicago's neighborhoods, it’s real gunfire that sends people running.

Sixteen times this year, Chicago has seen a mass-shooting, which means four or more people were shot in the same incident. But it doesn't seem to get the same attention as college campus or movie theater shootings.

“I understand that, I hurt for those families that have to deal with that, but I would like for them to imagine living that very frequently,” said Diane Latiker of Kids off the Block.

Latiker and others worry that government has become numb to Chicago's violence because it has become so common place, happening every day.

“I think sometimes because most of our shootings are taking place in poorer communities and black and brown communities, it doesn't make the headlines,” said Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church.

For many of the participants at Soldier Field, which consisted of some who walked, it's about raising awareness and money to help organizations who are battling violence at the street level.

Pamela Hester-Jones's son, Lazarus, was beaten to death in 2007 and the case remains unsolved.

“I would say that I do have faith, that change will come and I don't know when but for right now, I would like change, but it doesn't seem like anything is changing,” Hester-Jones said.

To bring an end to the violence, these participants know they have to do their part, whatever that may look like.

“It's not more cops or fire the superintendent or less cops or this or that or the other thing, it's a multitude of long term, long-ranging things and one of them is being involved in your community,” said Louis Uhler, who lost a best friend to violence.