The Crusader Newspaper Group

Only 7 residents at Parkway Gardens meeting after mass shooting

Crusader Staff Report

Only seven residents attended a community meeting at Parkway Gardens Christian Church after a mass shooting at the Woodlawn complex, located across the street from the Chicago Crusader office.

Three teenagers and three adults on Friday, February 14 were shot at an apartment in the 6500 block of South King Drive, according to police.

Police said about 9:10 p.m., a gathering at a party spilled into the hallway. Sources told the Crusader that the apartment was over capacity, forcing guests to be turned away who tried to get in.

One 23-year-old woman who was shot multiple times had a handgun but it wasn’t known if the woman had a FOID card or a concealed carry license.

The 23-year-old woman is in critical condition at Stroger Hospital. That woman was shot eight times all over her body, including her back, shoulder, head and abdomen, according to police.

A 15-year-old girl was shot in the leg and foot and treated at Comer Children’s Hospital.

Two 14-year-old girls were shot and treated at Stroger.

Police said a 20-year-old man suffered gunshot wounds to the face, chest and leg. He was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in serious condition.

An 18-year-old man had multiple gunshot wounds to the leg according to police and was also taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition.

Police said no arrests have been made.

On Tuesday, February 18, a community public safety meeting was held at Parkway Gardens Community Church at 6600 S. King Drive. Sources said at least 15 Chicago police officers from the CAPS District 3 attended the meeting, as well as officials from Related Midwest, the development that owns Parkway Gardens. Sources said officials from Dulles School of Excellence and Metropolitan Family Services were also at the meeting. Alderman Jeanette Taylor (20th) was also there.

Sources told the Crusader that only seven residents attended the meeting, but none of them were the parents or relatives of those who were shot four days earlier. Sources said the residents who attended the meeting said they no longer felt safe in the complex and asked Related Midwest to relocate them to one of the firm’s other properties in Chicago. Sources said Related Midwest representatives remained silent throughout the meet- ing. Sources also said Related Midwest did not do enough to inform residents of the meeting.

“People there are giving up because they’re tired of hearing the same old thing,” said Ald. Taylor.

Parkway Gardens has a special afterschool program run by Jennifer Maddox, a Chicago police officer who was nominated for Hero of the Year by CNN in 2017. Sources told the Crusader that Maddox in the past year had been asking for a larger space for a community center from Related Midwest to run her program, but has gotten nowhere.

The Crusader, on Wednesday, February 19, left a message with Kiera Ellis, director of public affairs for Related Midwest.

On Friday, February 21, Ellis emailed and texted the Crusader about the story, claiming it contains two inaccuracies. Ellis  said she spoke personally during the meeting, telling the residents that Related Midwest is there to “listen, get feedback and make improvements.” Ellis said three officials from Related Midwest introduced themselves at the beginning of the meeting and stayed after to speak with residents and Chicago police officers.

Ellis said the Chicago Police Department organized the meeting  and Related Midwest was not invited, but made sure to be at the meeting. Ellis also released this statement from Related Midwest.

“After last weekend’s incomprehensible violence, we continue to work closely with the Chicago Police Department on best practices around security measures at Parkway Gardens to ensure the safety of residents and their guests. We had a productive meeting with residents and the Chicago Police on Tuesday and will continue to meet on an ongoing basis as we work together to identify and implement additional security measures. Our thoughts continue to be with the young people and their families impacted by this tragedy.”

On Sunday, February 16, Corey Brooks, senior pastor of New Beginnings Church in Chicago and executive director of Project H.O.O.D, held an emergency town hall meeting. He said some of the youth on the South Side felt forgotten as the city hosted the NBA All Star Weekend.

“We must let our young people know how serious it is to take a life,” Brooks said. “The only way to do that is to show up. I implore everyone visiting Chicago to come to Parkway Gardens and stand with our young people and the families of those afflicted by violence. Join Chance the Rapper and give our youth the opportunity to meet people they have never been exposed to.”


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