Chicago has been riddled with senseless gun violence, and, sadly, there seems to be no end in sight.
In a heartbreaking twist of fate, a mother was forced to witness her two sons gunned down at her own job on Thursday.
An unnamed man approached the Nadia Fish and Chicken restaurant where the mother worked and opened fire, killing her two children and two other men.
"It is not OK. It is not OK when we lose a child like this," the grieving mom said as officers guided her and others away from the body. “There’s two dead — there’s two other boys in there.”
According to The Root, the shooting is believed to have been gang-related, but the investigation is still underway.
The brothers were 20-year-old Dillon and 19-year-old Raheem Jackson. They went to the restaurant to visit their mother and grab a bite to eat.
"I just want them to pick him up ... when they get him off the ground I'll go with him," said the distraught mother. "I didn't have kids to lose 'em like this."
The other two men were identified as Edwin Davis, 32, and Emmanuel Stokes, 28, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Following the tragic death of her sons, her devastation sent her into a state of depression, prompting her to threaten taking her own life.
“I can't go on, my life is over. I'm about to godd**n kill myself. I was standing right here in the window; they killed 'em right in front of me,” she said.
Although the crowd of onlookers and emergency personnel dispersed over time — with the exception of evidence technicians, detectives, and some beat cops — the mother refused to leave the scene. She found an area that was seemingly equal distance from each of her sons' bodies, which she deemed a “mutual zone.”
"I gotta stand with 'em both. I can’t leave. I gotta stay with both my sons 'til they get 'em up," she said.
The ongoing gun violence in Chicago has been a matter of national concern, yet no real viable solutions have been introduced.
Last year, hip hop artists — including Academy Award-winner Common — initiated the #PutTheGunsDown movement in conjunction with the community empowerment organization Chicago Ideas that used music to help combat gun violence.
Other grassroots initiatives have been launched to fight the same battle, including the social media campaign “Black Is Human” which released a video titled “Our Black Boys” that featured young African-American males highlighting the negative effects of gun violence.
Sadly, these efforts have not been enough to eradicate the violence plaguing the windy city, which prompted President Donald Trump to threaten to “send the feds” into Chicago if the “carnage” continued — because of course Trump would suggest fighting violence with more violence.
While we may not all agree on how to achieve peace in Chicago, one thing is abundantly clear: too much blood has been spilled, and this ruthlessness has gone on far too long.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Max Whittaker