By Kelsey Mitchell, National News Writer
Two Chicago girls have passed away due to wounds sustained from bullets in separate shootings. Takiya Holmes and Kanari Bowers were both shot in the head within an hour of each other, both have since passed due to the injuries sustained from the incidents.
Kanari Bowers, 12, and Takiya Holmes, 11, were both left in critical condition before passing away. The shootings occurred thirty minutes apart and approximately three miles away from each other in the notoriously dangerous South Side of Chicago.
Kanari was shot at the Henderson Elementary School playground where she had been playing with her friends.
Bower’s family issued a statement regarding the tragic loss, stating ““We are appreciative of all of the thoughts and prayers we have received in the past several days… Please keep your children close and do whatever it takes to protect them from the senseless gun violence in our city.”
So far, Chicago police have arrested 19-year-old Antwan Jones in relation to Takiya Holmes’ death as a result of being hit in the head with a stray bullet.
Jones, who lived across the street from the spot where Takiya had been shot, opened fire on three people that “he felt did not belong,” according to CNN.
Takiya had been in the back of a car with her mother and brother when a stray bullet struck her head. Takiya passed away in her mother’s arms.
Takiya’s grandmother appealed to the public, saying “I’d like to just tell the public, if you know something, don’t be afraid to tell.”
According to CNN, Chicago saw 762 homicides in 2016, an increase of over 50% from 2015. Superintendent of police Eddie Johnson commented on the growing rate of gun violence in the city at a news conference. He said, “Give us the tools to make offenders think twice about pulling a trigger….We need to create a culture of accountability… Enough is enough.”
According to BBC, along with Bowers and Holmes, 27 other were shot in the Chicago area and five additional people have died in separate incidents. A third child also died in a shooting in the same weekend. BBC also states that Chicago has seen over 400 shootings so far in 2017.
Despite strict gun laws, Chicago still sees a significant amount of gun related issues due to straw purchasing. To combat this, Governor Bruce Rauner imposed a law that applied penalties to those who bring guns into Illinois without proper gun owner identification.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 21st print edition.
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