July 4th mass shooting: Chicago women died shielding children from gunfire

A mass shooting in Grand Crossing on Chicago’s South Side early Thursday morning left two women and an 8-year-old child dead. 

On Thursday evening, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office shared that the 8-year-old boy had succumbed to his injuries. Two other children, ages 5 and 8, are still in critical condition at Comer Children's Hospital. 

A neighbor reported seeing men knocking on the door of a residence in the 7100 block of South Woodlawn Avenue around 6:15 a.m. Those knocks turned into gunfire.

Neekshia Strong, 45, was pronounced dead at the scene and her 24-year-old niece, Capri Edwards, was taken to University of Chicago Hospital where she died a short time later, according to Chicago police.

Police said Edwards was fatally shot as she shielded her 1-year-old child from gunfire. That child is safe.

Outside the home, rounds that were fired are still visible, traveling from outside and making it into the home. Video showed family calling police inside after more shell casings were found.


July 4th mass shooting: 2 women killed, 3 children critically wounded on Chicago's South Side

Two women were killed and three young boys were critically wounded in a mass shooting Thursday morning in the Grand Crossing neighborhood.

Chicago Police Deputy Chief Don Jerome said the shooting appeared to have started over a "personal dispute." 

"Two vehicles pulled up into the area," Jerome said. "Multiple subjects exited those vehicles and fired at this residence. Multiple shell casings were recovered from both a rifle and a handgun at the scene."

All the victims appeared to have been inside when they were shot, according to police. No description has been given of the suspects or their vehicles.

Frank Mixon, Strong's son, was home from college visiting family when he woke up early Thursday to the sound of gunfire.

"I honestly can’t even tell you what I thought was going on," Mixon said. "I just woke up, went upstairs and I just saw a massacre of everything. It was crazy."

Mixon described his mother as a hard-working woman who was an employee of FedEx.

"My mom was such an amazing woman. No one ever showed me how to go get in and work hard like her. Working day and night, taking care of kids that weren’t hers," Mixon said.

He said his mother was the person in the family that would get everyone together at her home on Woodlawn Avenue.

Mixon was surrounded by his high school coaches on Thursday afternoon. The now college basketball player said his mother would want him to stay focused and going.

"What kills me the most is just like, we were just together two or three days ago talking about me going to another school for basketball on another scholarship as well," Mixon said.

"If my mom was here, she'd just tell me the same thing - take it on the chin and keep going. My mom was one of the most wonderful women you could ever meet in your life. Definitely the love of my life for sure."

The people responsible for the shooting haven’t been tracked down. Jerome said police have a description of the suspect's vehicles and are using video surveillance to identify them.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson issued this statement Thursday evening in regard to the shooting: 

"On behalf of the City of Chicago, we express our deepest condolences to the families and the Grand Crossing community mourning the lives lost in the shooting that took place this morning.  

"We will continue coordinating with our partners at the Chicago Police Department, 5th Ward Alderman Desmon Yancy, and victim services partners to support this community on a path of healing from this tragic incident," Johnson said. 

Area One detectives are still investigating.