After attending the wake of her 60-year-old daughter, Laverne Burress, on Friday afternoon, Iola Burress, was prevented from going to her funeral on Saturday, after she was caught in another round of violence to hit the city of Chicago.
CBS Chicago reports that the 81-year-old grandmother nearly lost her own life when she was stuck four times with bullets, including one to the stomach, and was rushed to Advocate Christ Hospital. She is in critical but stable condition and is expected to have surgery over the weekend. She was just one of over 36 casualties from a drive-by shooting which happened over the weekend, along with others.
Cook County medical examiner’s office stated that one man was not so lucky and was pronounced dead at 1:20 a.m. after he was shot in the chest around midnight.
Burress was hit by bullets along with a 34-year-old male, Sylvester Burress, a relative from Michigan, who was shot in the hip. The shooting occurred in the 7800 block of South Carpenter, Auburn Gresham, around 5 p.m., according to Chicago Police News Affairs. CBS Local reports that the two were on a porch when the gunfire erupted and the injured male was also taken to Advocate Christ Hospital.
“Friday felt like a movie,” Ronnie Mosley, Burress’s great grandson, told ABC7. “To be putting my grandmother to rest, for my great grandmother to be hit four times and for my cousin to be hit, that doesn’t seem like reality.”
The Chicago Tribune reports that the family said a white truck pulled up outside the home of Iola Burress and two gunmen fired out of the sunroof and window. After driving off, they then drove into an alley and fired more shots.
“She’s been living here as long as I’ve been alive,” Mosley said, adding that his great grandmother had served as pastor at Divine Light of Faith Church. “She’s been a pillar of the community for this block and our family. This is the genocide that happens in our backyard.”
Recovering numerous shell casings, police investigators continue to search for suspects of the four-door sedan, which witnesses claim drove slowly down the street, according to ABC7. “We have full faith they will get to the bottom of this,” Mosley told the news outlet. “I’m very optimistic in terms of finding out who did this.”
“They’re senior and elders and this is the bookends of our communities,” Mosley continued. “If this doesn’t call us to action, I’m afraid that there’s not much else that will.”
According to The Chicago Tribune, the shooting happened about two blocks away from Saint Sabina Catholic Church, where filmmaker Spike Lee discussed his upcoming film “Chiraq” earlier in the week.
Mary Burress, along with other members of the family, who were still wearing the T-shirts they’d created in memory of Laverne, said she couldn’t believe the family had been put through this additional pain.
“I’m burying my sister and then I’ve got to look at my mother and son being shot,” said Mary Burress. “We’ve been living on this block since 1974. We’ve never bothered anybody. Everybody knows the Burress family. Stop taking innocent lives. Enough is enough,” she lamented.
“Of all the days, you pick today,” said Bianca Reynold, who was at her mother’s wake. “You see an old lady sitting on the porch and you still shoot, that’s not right at all.”
“It’s very hard right now because we’re trying to bury her daughter and assist her, and then this happens today during the wake,” Yolanda McBride, granddaughter of Burress and the daughter of the departed Laverne told the Chicago Sun Times.
“It makes you very nervous that she has to go into surgery at this time,” continued McBride, referring to her grandmother and explaining that her mother had died last May 9 after not making it out of heart surgery.