Monday, March 13, 2006

Whatis the world coming to?

I was watching the news today, and yet another SENSELESS slaying of another precious child. Just a few days ago Starkesia Reed, was struck by a stray bullet, meant for someone else, she was killed instantly right in her own living room. She was only 14 years old. A beautiful young girl with a very promising future, she was a honor student. Why? Picked up the news paper, same community, just blocks away Sirethia White was killed in her aunt's kitchen. She was struck in the head by a stray bullet, at her own birthday party. She hadn't even had a chance to cut her birthday cake. She would have been 11 years old today. How sad is that? They should ban assault weapons, and give stiffer penalties for these types of crimes. Our children are not safe, not even in the comforts of their own homes. This just ANGERS me! Children are losing their lives senselessly, and nothing is being done. This scares the crap out of me! We live in peril times. I sobbed and sobbed! I could not begin to fathom, what their mothers are going thru. There was no need for this to happen. These children could have grown up and been the next president, and the scientist who finds the cure for Aids or cancer......Just sickens me....

Here is a news paperarticle below:

The uncut birthday cake sat on the table beneath colorful balloons.
Steps away, bloodstains marked the wood floor of this Englewood community home, where a party — and a young life — came to a violent end Saturday night.
Siretha White, 10, was shot in the head about 8:30 p.m. Saturday as she tried to run to the kitchen and take cover from a hail of bullets spraying her aunt's home in the 2000 block of West 70th Place. Moments earlier, Siretha had been dancing in the living room, celebrating at a surprise birthday party for her and her cousin.
She would have turned 11 years old today.
Her killing marks the second time in as many weeks that a bullet meant for someone else claimed the life of a young Englewood girl. Starkesia Reed, 14, was gunned down March 3 in her living room, about six blocks away from the house where Siretha was shot.
"When are they going to stop killing our kids?" sobbed family friend Tanika Smith, 22, as she mourned Sunday on the front porch of Siretha's house in the 6800 block of South Marshfield. "We were just at Starkesia's funeral last week. Now we've got another one. It ain't right."
It was a refrain heard often Sunday, as members of the community hugged, cried, prayed and demanded others lay down their guns.
"It's our babies dying on this battlefield," said the Rev. Robin Hood of the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention, as he led a prayer vigil outside Siretha's home.
Wentworth Area detectives were questioning two men in connection with Siretha's shooting. Witnesses said the gunmen drove down the street in a white Cadillac, which police recovered Sunday.
Police have charged Carail L. Weeks, 24, with the shooting of Starkesia Reed. Law enforcement officials say Weeks opened fire on his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend with an AK-47 and a stray bullet hit Starkesia in the face.
Police Supt. Phil Cline said a similar type of assault weapon — "a Tech 9 type machine pistol" — was used in Siretha's shooting.
"We need to get these weapons banned," Cline said. He suggested that the crime might have been gang-related. "These gang-bangers need to realize they've got to give up that life ... a child's life is not worth them having some more drug turf."
"They need to stop," said Siretha's mother, Siretha Woods. "Innocent people is being killed. Let these kids live."
Woods described her daughter as "a movie star in my eyes," a little girl who loved to act and, like Starkesia Reed, excelled at school. She said Siretha was a fifth-grader at Vernon Johns Community Academy. School officials said crisis teams will be sent today to Vernon Johns, where students have lost three classmates or recent graduates — including Siretha and Starkesia — this year.
One of 12 children, Siretha could get along with just about anybody, friends and family said. Not one to sit inside in front of the television, she loved jumping rope and playing the boys at basketball. She even donned boxing gloves and went toe-to-toe with her 14-year-old brother, Nevens.
"I'd let her win," he confessed.
Siretha's parents missed the birthday party Saturday night because Siretha's father had to go to the hospital. Family friends said he's on oxygen and suffers from diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
Siretha's aunt Deanna Woods threw the joint birthday party for her own 13-year-old daughter and her niece, who was known affectionately as "Nugget," a nickname her father gave her because she was a chunky baby.
About 30 children were at the celebration, eating chicken and taco salad and dancing — one of Siretha's favorite pastimes. The music was interrupted by the sound of gunfire and breaking glass. Deanna Woods yelled at the children to get down.
"I throwed them all on the floor," Deanna Woods said. "They was piled up on each other. I pushed my niece down, but she got up and started to run to the back to get safe."
Siretha didn't get far. One of the kids started screaming, "Nugget's shot!"
Tanika Smith, who was at the party, said a group of about eight men who she thinks were possible targets of the shooting had briefly stopped by, eaten some food and were outside the house when the gunfire erupted. Some of the men frantically kicked at the front door trying to get back in the house for protection, she said, but one of the adults inside held the door shut. Police said two people outside the house were grazed by bullets.
Smith estimated at least 20 shots were fired. When she saw Siretha had been hit, she ran over to help.
"I held her hand," Smith said. "I kept telling her it would be all right. I could see her mouth moving, but nothing came out. I wish I knew what she was trying to say."
Siretha's aunt went back to her house Sunday to retrieve the uncut birthday cake and take it to her sister's home. She looked around at the pile of white napkins and plates that went unused, the presents that Siretha opened but never will play with.
Her voice grew louder as she vented her anger, both at the people who did this and the police who she said let her family down.
"It's not safe here. We can't even live in Chicago anymore," Deanna Woods said. "You think I ain't leaving after this?"
She cried while she picked up the cake and walked past the bloodstains on the floor.
"We didn't even get to sing her 'Happy Birthday,' " she said.
Sun-Times News Group

So sad!


BonnieRose said...

Dana, you are so right.
The world isn't as safe as it once was. sad, but true.
I don't know what I would do if my children died in a senseless way.

Adrienne " A little dramatic at times" said...

Things have so seems as if nothing is safe OR sacred anymore.....

ScrappingMomof3 said...

Aww, how sad, Dana. Makes me want to go and hug my kids an extra time before I say goodnight tonight and not want to let go. We've got some suspicious neighbors across the street that I've heard arguments from and it scares me to death. I wish there was something more I could do.