CHICAGO—In tears, with her head in her hands, 54-year-old Shirley Chambers weeps. After burying three of her children, she lost her fourth on Jan. 26 after he was shot dead while sitting in a parked car on the west side of Chicago.
Thirty-three year old Ronnie Chambers was the last of Shirley Chambers’ four children, who were all victims of Chicago gun violence.
“When I found out that he was shot, I was totally devastated. My heart just dropped,” Chambers told theGrio.
As a mother who raised four children in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing projects, she never dreamt she would outlive her kids, and after the deaths of the first three, hoped her fourth would outlive her.
“I’m just knowing that Ronnie’s going to grow up and be an old man. That was in my heart,” Chambers said of her son.
A local music producer and reformed gang member, Chambers’ son went to Chicago’s west side after attending a listening party for one of his artists.
Police said at around 2:15 a.m. on Jan. 26, they responded to a call of shots fired in the 1100 block of South Mozart Street. When they arrived on the scene, they found Ronnie Chambers sitting in a parked van with a gunshot wound to the head. According to police, a second man was shot in his arm and leg, and was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital for treatment.
Ronnie Chambers was pronounced dead on the scene, police said. He is part of an already advanced number of murders in Chicago in 2013. As of Jan. 30, police said Chicago has experienced 157 shootings and 42 homicides in 2013. In 2012, the city shamefully topped 500 murders for the first time in four years.
“Every day our young men and young women are getting gunned down,” Chambers said of Chicago’s violence issues. “I think it’s gotten out of control.”
Chambers lost her 18-year-old son Carlos to gun violence in 1995. In 2000, Chambers’ 23-year-old son Jerome and 15-year-old daughter LaToya were both shot to death outside of a Cabrini-Green housing facility just months apart.