CHICAGO -- Retired carpenter Greg Zanis returned to a vacant lot in Englewood Sunday, bringing more crosses to commemorate gunshot victims killed since the first of the year in Chicago. That number is now up to 65.
Each cross has the victim's name, age, the date they were killed, and in some cases a picture of them on it. Zanis added roses to the crosses on Sunday. A group of pastors also met there for a prayer vigil, along with community members and families of gunshot victims.
Chantay Barnes visited the crosses with her two-year-old grandson Amari. His father, Keith Jackson, was killed in a drive-by two months ago. While some neighbors feel the cross memorial puts a negative spotlight on Englewood, Barnes thinks it's a good idea.
"I like it. Why? Because it gives you a little remembrance, kind of and a little closure," Barnes said.
Zanis has been building crosses for shooting victims nationwide since the Columbine shooting in 1999. Most recently, he erected 49 crosses in Orlando for the Pulse Nightclub victims.
"It's a face - it's not a number; these are people," Zanis said.
At the end of March, Zanis says he plans to take the crosses to the NIU campus in DeKalb for an event there, and after that, reassemble the memorial on the lot in Englewood.