Request from grandmother to girl shot at Bronzeville High School: ‘I assume this baby who shot my baby is crying for help … God will help you’

With forgiveness in her voice, the grandmother of a 14-year-old girl had seriously injured at a Bronzeville high school had a special request for the perpetrator on Wednesday.

“I assume this baby who shot my baby is crying for help,” Johneese Cobb said as her granddaughter was in intensive care and recovered from two gunshot wounds. “I will tell him that God will help you if you ask for it.

“I understand that you might be in pain, baby, and maybe you’re in pain, and I understand that,” Cobb continued. “I’m in pain too. My grandfather is in a lot of pain. Maybe you’re feeling bad enough to call up here and talk to Dad [Michael Pfleger] and say, ‘Help me, I will do right.’ I advise you, honey, to do so. ”

Cobb spoke to reporters outside St. Louis. Sabina’s Church and said she had talked to her granddaughter that morning. “She said,‘ Say thank you to everyone. Ask the shooter to give himself. ”

The perpetrator was waiting outside the Wendell Phillips Academy and opened fire when a security guard opened a door to let students out around 3:15 p.m., according to police.

Evidence technicians note a mark on a door where it was hit by a bullet after a 14-year-old girl and a security guard were both shot Tuesday afternoon outside Wendell Phillips Academy High School in the 3800 block of South Giles, Bronzeville.

Evidence technicians note a mark on a door where it was hit by a bullet after a 14-year-old girl and a security guard were both shot Tuesday afternoon outside Wendell Phillips Academy High School in the 3800 block of South Giles, Bronzeville.
Ashlee Rezin / Sun-Times

Cobb said her granddaughter was shot twice while she was in the doorway. “She was inside the school on her way out to meet her mother when the shots rang,” she said. “They went in the door and they beat her. The door lowered the bullets and saved my baby’s life. ”

The guard was also hit by shots and is also recovering. Cobb said she thought he was trying to protect the students. “I think the man was trying to save those babies and he took those bullets,” she said.

The girl was operated on Tuesday night at Comer Children’s Hospital, Cobb said. “Her color is back in her face. … She’s stabilized, she’s going to recover completely. There is no major damage to her organs. ”

A bullet remains stuck in the girl’s abdomen, she said.

Cobb described her granddaughter as “a protected child, a little bitten funny beloved child. She is so shy, she is so innocent. She is a good child and helped raise her siblings. Really in the house all the time. So her first year in high school was her way of getting out of the house.

“She was shot at the school where she was supposed to be,” Cobb said. “Right now I am so thankful to God that my grandfather wants to live and do great things. Keep praying. ”

CPS CEO Pedro Martinez spoke at an independent news conference Wednesday that the shooting was “tragic.”

“It concerns me that it got so close when our kids came out the front door,” he said. “It is something that is honestly a societal challenge that we must address. And what I want to say is that it can not be the schools alone. It really can not.

“It’s something I need help from society, I need help. The mayor has already shared with me that we are going to work together and with all agencies to look at this. ”

Martinez said a crisis team was at the school Wednesday to help students and staff deal with their trauma.

Phillips was one of a handful of schools that chose to remove its two officers at the school last year. District records show the high school still employed six unarmed security guards, including the one who was shot. However, it is unclear if they could have prevented the shooting, as they are not always outside during a dismissal, and activists note that their presence has not always deterred shooters in other situations.

The nurse said he and others handed out a $ 5,500 reward for arresting the shooter.

‘Give the city a soul again’

The nurse also urged Governor JB Pritzker to declare a state of emergency and come up with a plan on “how we will stop this. It’s just getting worse. ”

“Give the city a soul again,” he said, speaking to both Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “Let’s rebuild life, let’s rebuild this city.”

Father Michael Pfleger talks about reducing crime with a reporter in St.  Sabina Church in Auburn Gresham, Wednesday, October 13, 2021.

Father Michael Pfleger talks about reducing crime with a reporter in St. Sabina Church in Auburn Gresham, Wednesday, October 13, 2021.
Anthony Vazquez / Sun-Times

At least 162 children aged 15 and under have been shot in Chicago so far this year, a 24% increase over the number of children shot in the same period last year, according to Sun-Times data.

In September, two 15-year-old students from Simeon Career Academy were shot and killed the same day in separate attacks, one of them not far from the South Side campus.

BRAVE, the violence prevention youth council in St. Sabina, circulates a petition urging Pritzker to declare a state of emergency.

“How many children, how many live before we say it is a state of emergency? We are in a state of emergency now, ”said Pfleger. “And I think the governor is careful not to embarrass the city or, you know, to overrun the city. I don’t care about emotions anymore.

“I do not care who is embarrassed, I do not care who is hurt,” he said. “My reality is that right now we are in a state of emergency that needs to be called with a plan and a strategy that needs to be adopted so that this city can deal with this violence because it is getting worse and worse and worse. ”

Nurses also urged the city to devote more resources to mental health programs to help children cope with the trauma of violence.

“Imagine all those kids at Phillips right now, how traumatized they are about one of their first years being shot at school, their security guard being shot,” he said. “And it’s all over the South and West. The trauma that is a bit of families, of whole communities, of whole neighborhoods. We have nothing to do with it. ”

Contributing: Nader Issa

Give a Comment