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Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

Families Of West Side Mass Shooting Victims Launch Fundraisers To Cover High Medical Bills, Funeral Expenses

The fundraisers would help pay for medical bills, rehabilitation and funeral expenses for two of the victims wounded in shootings in recent weeks.

Chris Mitchell (left) and Demetrius Flowers (right) pictured in family photos.
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NORTH LAWNDALE — After mass shootings hit the West Side in recent weeks, several impacted families are seeking support from friends and neighbors to help with the high cost of gun violence.

The mother of one survivor, 21-year-old Chris Mitchell, created a GoFundMe asking for $25,000 to help her pay medical bills and for mental health help and rehabilitation her son will need on his road to recovery. The family’s fundraiser has already raised $4,000 towards its goal.

Chris Mitchell was one of the seven people who were wounded in an Aug. 4 mass shooting at a Douglas Park playground. He was shot eight times and rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition. After a series of surgeries to repair broken bones and to help his bullet wounds heal, his condition has stabilized, his mother Tanikka Mitchell said.

As a result of his injuries Chris can’t walk for the time being, his mother said. She is praying her son will make a full recovery since his injuries did not leave him with any neurological damage.

“I’m hoping that he’ll be able to get some counseling for post-traumatic stress,” Tanikka Mitchell said. “I’m hoping that he will be able to reintegrate back into society and still be as productive as he was before without having a lot of residual mental and emotional scars from this experience.”

She said her son is a mentor for young people coming up in the neighborhood. Chris has a love for basketball and played all throughout school. He has a love for entertaining people and enjoys recording music, dancing, and rapping.

“Chris is definitely a leader. He is very charismatic. He looks out for the little guy or the person who might feel left out. He’s very inclusive,” Tanikka Mitchell said.

Another family impacted by a different shooting in Lawndale on Aug. 4 is also raising money via a GoFundMe campaign. The family of Demetrius Flowers is hoping to raise money to pay for funeral and memorial expenses after he was killed in a mass shooting that wounded seven others in the 4200 block of West 18th Street. They have raised more than $1,000 toward their $20,000 goal to date.

According to the fundraiser page, “He has left behind children and family that will still need our continued assistance, prayer and love.”

Flowers is described by loved ones as a hardworking man with a deep love for his friends and family.

The shooters involved in both incidents remain at large, police said. Residents with any information on who is responsible for the shootings can leave an anonymous tip without fear of retribution on the Chicago Police Department website.

Pascal Sabino is a Report for America corps member covering Austin, North Lawndale and Garfield Park for Block Club Chicago.

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