Father of slain 7-year-old discusses gun violence as Chicago records over 100 July murders

Chicago News

CHICAGO – July was the most violent month in Chicago since 1992.

584 people were shot and 105 were murdered, according to Chicago police.

While overall crime was down 9%, shootings and murders saw a sharp increase. Since 2016, the number of shooting victims trended down year-by-year.

In 2020, it jumped more than 50 percent.

One of the 105 victims was 7-year-old Natalie Wallace, who was killed by a stray bullet while she played outside at her grandmother’s Fourth of July party.

Her father continues to be devastated after Wallace became one of 38 slain children killed by gun violence in 2020.

“It’s messed up that people say numbers like… that was somebody’s life,” father Nathan Wallace said. “you see it every day on the news and it don’t really register until it’s somebody that you care about. Someone you love.”

Two men have been charged with first-degree murder after his daughter’s death. Police said Davion Mitchell, 22, allegedly fired shots towards Wallace and Reginald Merrill, 33, was the alleged getaway driver.

Chicago police credited neighbors for giving them leads in the case.

In a year of increased violence, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said cooperation will help slow the shootings.

“Without the community we can’t do our jobs,” he said. “We need the community to help us whenever we have violence in order to solve these crimes.”

On Friday night, 9-year-old Janari Ricks became the latest child to fall victim to Chicago gun violence.

“You have to do more than shake your head because today it’s my family, tomorrow it could be yours,” Wallace said. “People have to think and have compassion that with everything going on, we as a people, we have to do better.”

On Monday, police announced a suspect is in custody.

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