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Mass shooting at Halloween vigil in Chicago turns deadly as man dies

A mass shooting at a Halloween vigil turned deadly Friday after a 48-year-old man, who friends said had been on life support since the shooting, died Friday afternoon at Mount Sinai Hospital, the Cook County medical examiner said.

Pierre Riley was a friend of the woman being honored that night, said Cheris Patterson, who organized the vigil on the city’s West Side.

Patterson was at home Friday afternoon thinking about it chaotic mass attack on Halloween as a result of which 14 people were shot, including herself, her sister and her cousins: two brothers aged 3 and 13. Another woman was hit by a car while fleeing the scene.

Patterson, 40, knows all of the victims personally and is connected to many of them, she said. She organized the gathering in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on Halloween out of love for her cousin, Shaki Lucas, 38, who died suddenly after complications from surgery.

“I’m mentally fine. Physically injured and scarred, but I’m alive,” Patterson said.

Lucas was diabetic and had surgery to insert a tube into her body. After she returned home, her body became so infected that she died. “Something went wrong,” Patterson said.

That night they held a vigil after the Halloween party. The shot children were dressed in costumes just a few hours ago.

When asked what meaning could be found in what had happened, Patterson said he could not, and their agony would never end.

“You want to ask why, but you know, it’s just devastating … that somebody would do something like that on purpose,” she said of the shooters.

“You’re in your car and you’re driving around the area, you see women and children, and you rightfully have a choice, ‘Hey, can I do this or not.’ You have to be a complete monster to visually see women and children and deliberately shoot,” Patterson said.

The Halloween shooting had the highest number of victims in a single incident in Chicago since then In March 2021, two people died, 13 more were injured at a “pop-up party” in the Park Manor neighborhood. Four guns were found at the scene. It was the second shooting this year in Chicago, which killed 15 people.

In July 2020 15 people were shot outside a funeral home in Gresham. In that shooting, a car drove down 79th Street and at least two people inside opened fire on a group of people standing outside a funeral home to mourn a man named Donnie Weathersby. The victims of the shooting ranged in age from 21 to 65, including 10 women. Two were in critical condition from the attack. Police linked the shooting to gang violence.

Despite the numbers, these mass shootings have not received the amount of coverage that after this year’s Fourth of July shooting in suburban Highland Parkwhere seven people were killed and another 48 were injured by bullets or shrapnel when a man fired a rifle from a rooftop down on parade spectators.

Claudio S. Rivera, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago who grew up in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, said the trauma of a mass shooting needs to be seen in context. It’s unfair, he said, to compare how a community like Highland Park might respond to the mass shooting in East Garfield Park, where a series of chronic traumas have occurred because of the deprivation and abandonment of those communities.

“We’ve failed to do more harm than good by focusing only on (mass shootings) and not the context and history of what these communities have faced,” Rivera said. “The social carnage that has resulted from the deprivation of these communities is just accepted as part of the day-to-day, and we shift our gaze to these communities until one of these spectacular events occurs.”

During a vigil on Halloween night, the group, which included many women and children, was standing at the corner of South California and West Polk Streets at about 9:20 p.m. when two men in a dark SUV started shooting, police said. The vehicle, possibly an Audi sedan, fled southbound.

One victim, Laquita Kent, 34, remains hospitalized after being hit by a car while trying to escape. “The shooter hit her with a car,” Patterson suggests. “She was hit and dragged very hard.”

Nine victims, including an 11-year-old girl and five women, were recovering at home, but four, including Kent, were still hospitalized Friday.

Patterson’s 13-year-old cousin remains at Mount Sinai and is still not walking.

“He’s in a lot of pain,” Patterson said. His 3-year-old brother is also now at home after being shot.

“They were going to the house next door, so these children were outside. It was a party for these kids,” she said, adding that the 13-year-old was also “upset” because he lost a pair of Kyrie Irving basketball shoes during the melee.

Rivera said a mass shooting can leave a child feeling very confused and wondering if they can be kept safe. When a child is involved in a tragedy like a mass shooting, a support network must help restore the child’s social contract that the world will protect them, he said.

“It’s best to do this with communities when they have resources because they can provide them with predictability, security and structure,” he said. “Young children are still trying to learn about the world in this way. And if we don’t fix that, or if we don’t prevent them from getting hurt, it can lead to a lot of negative feelings and can affect their hope for the future.”

A proper response to trauma in children should not only be about teaching the child mental health skills, but also addressing other conditions in the child’s environment that may exacerbate the trauma, Rivera said.

In this event, when many victims were in the same social circle, it can put a strain on society because social connections and relationships are one of the key components that help people overcome trauma, Rivera said. The fact that this happened to one community may increase the likelihood that they have fewer resources available not only to cope with them, but also to help each other and the children.

“The surrounding community and communities like it that have experienced these tragedies or similar tragedies begin to be reminded of trauma and feel a sense of injustice or lack of justice in the world,” he said, adding that people should recognize that this pattern is not accidental.

Patterson’s sister, Contina Patterson, 47, underwent surgery on Friday. “She’s getting a skin graft,” Patterson said of Contina, who was also injured in the leg.

A man in his 30s was shot in the chest “and a couple of other places,” she said. He is also still in the hospital.

Cherise Patterson recovers from gunshot wounds at the family home on November 4, 2022.

It was difficult for Patterson to understand what made the shooters attack.

“This is a hateful act. To me, this is a lie. What: do you hate women and children?’ she asked the shooters.

“We are not associated with a gang or a fight. We don’t know what’s going on. There is no excuse for you to open fire. There is no excuse,” Patterson said. “I pray they get caught.”

The brothers will be affected for the rest of their lives, she said. But “they have a great mom,” Patterson added.

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As for her injuries, Patterson will undergo physical therapy. There are three more bullets in her leg. “So far it’s safer,” doctors say. “But it just hurts.”

“I’m on a walker. I have big holes. Last night I reached down and felt a bullet in the side of my leg, I was horrified.’

She will be dismissed from her job as a hairdresser and decorator because she can’t stand it.

“We are still wounded. We will be like this for the rest of our lives.”

“I pray they get caught. You have hurt these children. You hurt us and we are forever traumatized.’




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