A Monday afternoon shooting in Downtown Chicago may have dominated the airwaves, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the recent slayings of children on the South Side should not be ignored.
Emanuel paid a visit Tuesday to the Englewood home where 6-year-old Arianna Gibson was shot and killed while she slept on her grandmother's couch early Sunday morning.
“I want everybody to understand while that loss was particular to a family, which is why I visited with them, it is a loss to this city and we as a city are less than who we can be and should be when a child’s life is cut short,” Emanuel said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Gibson's death came just four days after 13-year-old Darius Brown was fatally shot while playing basketball near his South Side home. Both children would have started school on Monday.
The mayor stressed that the high-profile shooting on State Street should be no more alarming than Gibson and Brown's deaths in Bronzeville and Englewood, where gun violence is more prevalent.
“I don’t tolerate gun violence or any type of violence anywhere in our city — whether that’s downtown in the business district or whether that’s an innocent child sleeping in her grandmother’s home,” Emanuel said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “I reject any value system that thinks that something happening downtown is more important than it happening in Englewood. That child in Englewood — while it’s the child of that mother and the child of that grandmother — that is a loss for the city of Chicago."
Emanuel further emphasized the difference between the South Side shootings and the State Street attack as a matter of intent, telling the Sun-Times that he's "not happy about what happened at State and Wacker," but that, unlike these tragedies, "it wasn't random." Both Brown and Gibson were unintended victims of the assaults that took their lives. One of two 17-year-olds wounded in the Gibson shooting is believed to have been the intended target, witnesses told the Chicago Tribune.
Police were speaking with a "person of interest" in Arianna's slaying earlier this week, but the man has since been released, according to the Tribune.
Meanwhile, 29-year-old Todd Brown, who was shot on State Street Monday, was recovering at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He has previously been convicted of aggravated battery and was shot in the leg less than a year ago, according to the Sun-Times.