This week in Chicago, an 8-year-old girl was killed, and her 7-year-old cousin critically injured, when two young men riding bicycles began shooting. The girls were jumping rope in front of their own home, as other children played. Witnesses said the shooters weren’t aiming at those girls in particular. Police are investigating whether the shooting stemmed from a fight among a group of teenagers that had erupted nearby earlier in the evening.
The tragedy underscored a painful feature of life in Chicago: In some parts of the city, there is an epidemic of gun violence. It’s been going on for years. It’s not that the city, state and private citizens aren’t trying to curb it. They are. But there are many factors working against them. Some of them are obvious: poverty, unemployment, drugs, lack of supervision. Other factors are harder to detect from the outside.
Need to Know heard about a program called CeaseFire that has been having some success in reducing gun violence. And because we want to report on solutions, as well as problems, we take you to the south side of Chicago, including the neighborhood where the little girls were shot, to see how the CeaseFire program works.
Updated: Two months after the Father’s Day weekend of violence that saw 54 people shot and 10 killed, only one suspect has been charged in connection with any of the shootings, the Chicago Police Department told Need to Know.
Related video: Need to Know met a former gang member who teaches Chicago youth to get their aggression out in the ring, not on the streets.