"That gun gives young people power, and most of them think that's the only power that they have."
Last weekend alone in Chicago, eight people were shot and killed while another 35 were wounded, as the Windy City continues to experience their worst violence in 20 years.
According to the Chicago Tribune, as of the beginning of this week, 3,028 have been shot which surpasses last year's gruesome total of 2,980. Additionally, 500 people have been killed in Chicago so far in 2016, including Dwyane Wade's cousin, up from 481 in 2015.
"That gun gives young people power, and most of them think that's the only power that they have, so the prize is to get a gun to show I got the power," said Diane Latiker, the head of Chicago's anti-violence organization Kids Off The Block.
Nearly a third of the more than 3,000 shootings have occurred in just three out of Chicago's 22 districts- all three of them are located on the West Side. Harrison ranked the worst with 423 people shot, while shootings have more than doubled over the last year in the two other West Side districts, Austin and Ogden. 324 people have reportedly been shot this year in the South Side's notorious Englewood neighborhood as well, up from 246 just a year ago. The Chicago Tribune report also notes that at least 30 children under the age of 13 have been shot in Chicago this year.
Among the eight deaths this past weekend, was 18-year old Keekee Fleming who was fatally shot while attending a vigil for 23-year old Nahmar Holmes who was killed on the same block just a day earlier. Two other teens were also shot during the incident and listed in serious to critical condition at a local medical center.
The three were in a group gathered around candles and a makeshift memorial about 8:15 p.m. when a gray van pulled up and an occupant opened fire, police said. Fleming was hit in the head and pronounced dead at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, according to police and the woman's family.