CHATHAM — Residents and business owners were shaken after a mass shooting in Chatham’s prime business district left a mother of three dead and nine other people wounded early Saturday.
The shooting happened 2:05 a.m. in the 7500 block of South Prairie Avenue, police said. The victims were standing on the sidewalk when two people walked up and fired shots.
Kimfier Miles was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at University of Chicago Medical Center.
Miles, 29, had three children. She was out with her girlfriends, visiting shops and restaurants along 75th Street, said her cousin, Takita Miles, according to the Sun-Times.
Miles’ family is now raising money online to cover the costs of her funeral. So far, people have donated $3,900.
“She was only 29; in the prime of her life,” Takita Miles said, according to the Sun-Times. “She hasn’t even experienced life. She just started traveling. It’s unfortunate. It’s really bad.”
Also wounded in the shooting was a 46-year-old man in fair condition, a 26-year-old man in fair condition, a 27-year-old man in fair condition, a 41-year-old man in fair condition, a 30-year-old man in fair condition, a 32-year-old man in fair condition, a 34-year-old woman in good condition, a 23-year-old man in good condition and a 23-year-old man in good condition.
Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said the shooting is a “tragedy” and he is praying for the victims and their families.
“These attacks on 75th Street or anywhere in our communities are unacceptable,” Sawyer said in a statement. “We have been working hard to rebuild 75th Street as a thriving business corridor, and the community is committed to this vision. These past nights will not undo years of hard work and business development.”
Chatham business leaders and the city have worked to make 75th Street a summer destination for South Siders looking to eat, drink or shop outside. The Greater Chatham Initiative was one of 15 community organizations chosen this spring for a Chicago Alfresco grant, a program to create spaces for outdoor entertainment.
But neighbors have complained of large crowds congregating on the street after business hours, and as recently as last week some predicted a shooting could happen.
At a community meeting Tuesday about bringing an affordable housing complex to the neighborhood, some neighbors said 75th Street was drawing the wrong crowds at night.
One neighbor said the city must make people feel safe by tackling issues of reckless driving and gun violence in the entire neighborhood — not just on 75th Street — before expecting the area to thrive economically.
“You’re wasting your money and your time if you don’t make people feel safe first,” one community member said. “There’s an eatery out on 75th Street. Do you think I’m going to sit out there on the corridor the way these fools drive down that street and act senselessly?”
No one was in custody. Detectives are investigating.
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