Chicagoans march for peace, victims

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On Saturday morning a community took the streets on the South Side of Chicago to take back their neighborhoods.

So far this weekend 18 people were shot and wounded and four people have died as a result of gun violence in Chicago.

Residents gathered Saturday near 79th and Greenwood to march for peace during the annual outdoor vigil “Prayer on the 9.”   On the minds of many of those attending was the innocent shooting death of Yvonne Nelson outside a south side Starbucks.   Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said they take all shootings seriously, but this one hits a little too close to home.

“It's a personal thing for us now because that's one of our own,” said Johnson about Nelson, who since 2002 has worked as a communications operator for the 311 city services.

Flowers marked the spot near 35th and State where 49-year-old Yvonne Nelson was gunned down Friday afternoon. Police said she was an innocent victim in a gang-related shooting that also injured a 19-year-old man, who was the intended target.

Police said the man is a documented gang member and is in stable condition.

“A cup of coffee?” said Pastor John Hannah of New Life Covenant Church who organized the Saturday event. “I should be able to go get a cup of coffee and not lose my life.”

The marchers walked for several blocks and at one point fell to the ground to remember their loved ones killed in senseless crimes.

Many of them wore red and brought photos of loved ones.

Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina’s Church said while we have to demand for more job opportunity, housing and education options - we also have be the change in our communities.

“There is no safe place in the middle of the day in the middle of the afternoon, the evening, the expressways, south side, a Starbucks, west side, north side it’s everywhere, this is out of control,” said Johnson.

Police are still searching for Nelson’s killer, but Johnson is optimistic.

“We are getting a lot of help from the community, so I think we will bring it to a successful resolution,” said Johnson.

Funeral arrangements for Nelson are still pending.