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Halloween mass shooting victims in Chicago struggle to heal, call for more support

Rosemary Sobol and Jake Sheridan, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

CHICAGO — Three children among 14 people who were shot and survived Halloween night are moving on with their lives, completing schoolwork, attending day care and even celebrating a 12th birthday nearly a month after the West Side mass shooting, relatives said.

The mothers of the three: an 11-year-old girl and brothers who are 3 and 13, shared the heartbreaking details with the Chicago Tribune as they begin the long process to rebuild their lives.

Meanwhile, the rest of the survivors, including a woman who was hit by a car while fleeing the hail of gunfire, have been released from hospitals and are facing time off work, doctor bills and seemingly endless rehab appointments.

At a “healing discussion” Tuesday, many of the victims said they haven’t gotten meaningful help to address their physical and emotional trauma. They called for more community support and asked people to donate to their GoFundMe, which has received few donations.

Pierre Riley, died of gunshot wounds suffered in the attack, which police said remains an open case with no arrests.

The brothers, 13-year-old Demetrius and 3-year-old Demyan, don’t talk much about the shooting at California Avenue and Polk Street, which began as a family gathering and balloon release for close family friend, Shakia Lucas, who died suddenly after complications from a surgery.

 

The boys were both shot in their right legs.

“They’re doing better,” said their mom, Shamikis Patterson.

Demetrius has been studying from home and keeping up with his eighth grade classwork while Demyan is a “very, very busy 3-year-old” who is back in day care after missing his friends but is still frightened to go outside, Patterson said. “He’s really afraid and he doesn’t want to leave the house.”

Demetrius isn’t able to go to school yet because he can’t feel his leg or foot.

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