A single mother from Chicago laid her last son to rest Sunday after he was shot and killed Jan. 26; he was the fourth child that she has buried due to gun violence.
Shirley Chambers cried as the casket of her son, Ronnie Chambers, 33, was wheeled into St. Luke Church of God in Christ for his funeral. He was the youngest of her four children, who have all been fatally shot over the course of 18 years, according to the Daily Mail.
Ronnie, an aspiring music producer, was leaving an album release party and was shot in the head while sitting in a car.
Chambers was interviewed on radio station WBEZ's “Afternoon Shift” segment last week, stating that she has received no support from the city in the wake of her family's most recent tragedy.
“I feel stressed out. I can't eat, I can't sleep, it's killing me,” Chambers said.
Her first child killed was Carlos, who was shot by a classmate at the age of 18 in 1995. Another son, Jerome, was murdered in early 2000 at the age of 23, while her only daughter, LaToya was killed by a bullet intended for someone else just three months later, in July 2000, at the age of 15.
According to NPR, Ronnie had turned his life around after having his three older siblings gunned down.
He appeared on “The Ricki Lake Show” in December 2012 and discussed how as a former gang member, he turned a new leaf and began mentoring young men interested in rapping and encouraging them to stay away from gangs.
"That right there, you know, me in and out of jail, let me know I had to do something different," Chambers said on the show.
One month later, he would be dead, leaving behind a son, Ronnie Chambers Jr, age 7.
There have currently been no arrests made in Chambers’ murder case.
Chicago has been plagued with a wave of gun deaths in the new year, with more than 40 homicides, including that of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old honor student who performed at President Barack Obama's inauguration just a week before she was fatally shot while waiting out a rainstorm in a park near her school, according to the Huffington Post.
Many are calling for action in resolving Chicago’s gun violence problem, and are calling for Obama to address the issue. Shirley Chambers says there’s only so much the president can do.
"It's too much out of control now. They've got to get stiffer penalties for these guys that go out and murder people for no reason,” she told NPR.
“The police can't do it by themselves. The president can't do it by himself. The mayor can't do it by himself. We've got to do it all together. We've all got to work together."
A Philadelphia-based anti-violence organization, Mothers in Charge, announced Sunday that it will soon establish a Chicago chapter, the Chicago Tribune reports.
"I don’t want another mother to go through what I went through. The Chambers, the Pendletons, the list goes on," Carolyn Champion, executive director of the new Chicago chapter, told WGN. "Something has got to change."
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