Life was back to normal Monday in Back of the Yards, three days after 13 people were shot and wounded in a park in the center of the South Side neighborhood.
Residents were getting their children to school and getting them back home and, for the most part, keeping them in the house to keep them safe.
"My kids mean everything to me," said Keeyana Keith, 24, as she and her brother walked her 5- and-6-year-old children to Richard J. Daley Elementary Academy Monday morning. "I'm scared for them.
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- 1800 West 51st Street, Chicago, IL 60609, USA
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"I hear gunshots, I know how to run," she said, tears streaming down her face. "How do these kids know how to run from gunshots?"
News that police had made arrests in Thursday night's shooting was little comfort.
"Ain't nothing changed since Thursday, to tell the truth," said Keith's older brother, Dennis Earl. "We don't have a library in the Back of the Yards. Doesn't that tell you that the people don't care?"
On Thursday night, neighbors had gathered in Cornell Square Park for a pickup basketball game. At least one gunman armed with a "military-grade" rifle walked up and opened fire, hitting 13 people including a 3-year-old boy. Police said it was a miracle no one died.
The youngest victim was 3-year-old Deonta Howard, who was walking, talking and eating Monday morning, according to his grandmother Semehca Nunn, 39.
Nunn's fiance, Curtis Harris, 37, was shot in the thigh and released from the hospital the next morning. But Deonta was shot in the face and will need plastic surgery, his family said.
Nunn said the boy's injuries weren't as bad as she was expecting. "I went and saw him yesterday," she said. "His face looks better than what I thought it was going to look."
Doctors are waiting for the toddler's jawbone to heal before doing surgery, she said. The bullet exited through the boy's cheek.
Even though her grandson is heavily sedated, Nunn said one of the first things Deonta asked for were his new shoes. "Yeah, he wanted his new shoes, I put them on and he was walking around," Nunn said. "Some type of Nikes."
Like Nunn, residents across the neighborhood worried and talked about their children Monday.
'I don't have my kids out in the street'
Esmeralda Carlos, 30, whose daughter is a seventh-grader at the Daley school, said she avoids lingering near the park and makes sure her children do the same.
She kept her older son busy as he was growing up, making sure he wasn't hanging out in the street. "We go straight home," she said. "I don't have my kids out in the street.
"If they hang out with the wrong person – there's a lot of gangbangers."
One of her daughter's classmates was at the park Thursday night with his parents, but Carlos doesn't believe any of them were hurt. The next day, she noticed more police patrolling the area by the school on foot and in cars. "I don't know if that's going to be a temporary thing or a permanent thing," she said. "It'd be nice if it were a permanent thing."
No police officers were in sight Monday morning as students and parents arrived at the Daley school. Later, a single squad car idled by the 50th Street entrance to the school.
'What's to keep the bullets from coming through my window?'