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2 women dead, 3 children hospitalized after Chicago shooting

A police officer talks with residents while working the scene at a multiple, fatal shooting in the 7100 block of South Woodlawn Avenue, July 4, 2024, in Chicago. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Michael Lemon woke up in his home early on the July 4 holiday to the sound of what he thought were firecrackers. Instead, he found his mother, brother and cousins bloodied and bullet holes in the front windows.

“Ran out my room, seen my little brother bleeding. I just seen bloodshed. Once I saw blood, I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “Took an innocent woman’s life, took two innocent women’s lives… Chicago ain’t got no remorse.”

Three children in the Grand Crossing home were critically injured and two women were killed when gunmen got out of cars in the 7100 block of South Woodlawn Avenue and sprayed the house with bullets, Chicago police said.

Officers responded to calls and a technology alert of shots fired in at around 6:15 a.m., CPD said, and found five victims with gunshot wounds.

A 42-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene and a 22-year-old woman died at University of Chicago Hospital, police said.

Three boys, aged 5, 7, and 8, were all in critical condition at Comer Children’s Hospital, according to police.

The 42-year-old was Lemon’s mother, Nakeeshia Strong, a “loving, fun person” who raised a big, happy family, he said. Her nickname was Kesha Boo, and she was letting her niece stay in the home. Family identified the other woman who was killed as Capri Edwards.

“All she wanted to do was live for her kids, have fun with her kids, y’all just took that away from her kids,” Lemon said of Strong.

“Y’all don’t get no cool points for coming to shoot up a crib at six o’clock in the morning where nobody in the house gang affiliated, none of that,” Lemon said. His younger brother “wanted to be a football superstar… now he’s got to grow up without his mama.”

Crisis intervention workers milled around the crime scene in drizzling rain Thursday, speaking with neighbors and those gathered nearby, offering victim support and hoping to cool any tensions.

Deputy Chief Don Jerome told reporters at a morning press conference that two cars pulled up in the area, “multiple subjects exited those vehicles and fired” at the home. They found casings from a rifle and handgun.

While warning information about the incident was preliminary, Jerome said, “it appears that this started from some type of personal dispute.”

The offenders fled in an unknown direction and no arrests have been made, police said Thursday morning. CPD is seeking tips and Area One detectives are investigating. The department declined to release details about the cars, but said they are reviewing license plates and video details.

“My heart bleeds for this community, which is a relatively quiet community not really used to this sort of violence,” Ald. Desmon Yancy, 5th, said at the briefing with police and Deputy Mayor Garien Gatewood.

“The summer just getting started,” Yancy said. “I don’t want to stand in front of another group of microphones and have another discussion about the pain that it’s caused in our community. The violence just has to stop.”

Lemon struggled to describe his pain Thursday.

“I’m empty inside but at the same time, I’m hurt, I’m shattered,” he said. “You never know when it’s your parent’s last day or your kid’s last day. I just realized that today.”


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