Chicago

Separate shooting incidents outside CPS schools has parents on edge

CHICAGO — Two shootings in as many days near Chicago Public Schools has many parents afraid to send their children to school.

Witnesses reported hearing up to 28 shots fired outside McDade Classical Elementary School early Wednesday morning. Fortunately, no one was hurt. The incident came one day after a Phillips Academy High School shooting in Bronzeville critically wounded a 14-year-old girl and injured a security guard.

The family of the 14-year-old girl shot at the Chicago high school says she’s expected to fully recover. The security guard was last reported to be in fair condition.

Kenneth Gilkes, the father of a fifth-grader at McDade Classical Elementary School, told WGN he raced back to 88th & South Indiana around 8:45 Wednesday morning when he learned about area gunfire.

“It’s scary,” Gilkes said. “You don’t know what’s going on. You don’t know who’s been hurt.”

Gilkes said he dropped his daughter off and gave her a big hug and kiss.

“It’s tough. You understand why people are leaving Chicago,” he said. “The violence is too much.”

Rico Nance, another McDade Elementary parent, echoed Gilkes’ concerns.

“Nobody should have to go through stuff like this,” Nance said. “It’s really out of control. These shootings are out of control. This is 28 shots in front of the school. This stuff is crazy. It’s too much. Too much.”

On Wednesday, Father Michael Pfleger urged Gov. JB Pritzker to declare an emergency in the wake of Tuesday’s shooting at Phillips Academy High School.

READ MORE: 14-year-old wounded in shooting at South Side high school expected to make full recovery, grandmother says

“Chicago is in a state of emergency,” Pfleger said. “Over 338 children shot this year. Chicago is not a safe place for children.”

Last month, a 15-year-old Jamari Williams, who played football for Simeon High School, was shot and killed. Another 15-year-old, identified as Kentrell McNeal, died just hours later following a double shooting Tuesday evening in a separate incident. He, too, attended Simeon High School.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on the courts to have more accountability regarding Chicagoans cut down by violence.

“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a city where murderers, shooters, rapists, or other people are out on bond or electronic monitoring because the court won’t step up and do the right thing,” Lightfoot said.

In a written statement, spokespeople for Chicago Public Schools told WGN that they’re working with Chicago police to bolster school security.

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