Shakaki Asphy, 16, shot and killed as she sat on the porch of an abandoned house
June 17, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- A family and a community mourn the deadly shooting of a 16-year-old Shakaki Asphy, who was sitting on a porch with friends when she was gunned down.
That porch is now a memorial.
That shooting was one of several over the weekend that left at least six people dead, including a 25-year-old woman.
One friend wiped away tears while another wrote a rest in peace sign before a group lit candles and gathered in prayer.
Shakaki Asphy's high school friends and teachers spent Sunday mourning the 16-year-old's death in front of the Englewood vacant home where she was gunned down last night sitting on the porch.
Dellaresse Cunninham's son was also shot in a crime she witnessed.
"A guy came through the gangway, he had on a grey hoodie," said Cunningham. "He pointed a gun and the guy just starting shooting,"
Neighborhood resident Trina Harland tried to help.
"She was crying then she stopped crying and was gasping for some air," Harland said. "I told her she would be ok."
Asphy died a short time later at the hospital.
She was a sophomore at Harper High School, where her P.E teacher says she was a star basketball player.
"She preferred to play with the guys over the girls," Gwyneth Kram said. "She was an outstanding basketball player, real aggressive and loved the game."
For Asphy's dad, losing his daughter on Father's Day is too much to take.
"I just want whoever did this to come forward and accept what they've done," Takaki Asphy said.
John Murray wants the same for his daughter on this day Father's Day. Twenty-five-year-old Tiffany Edwards was killed early Sunday morning as she was sitting in the passenger side of a van at the corner of 76st and State.
Someone pulled up and opened fire. Edwards's family says it's time for Chicago's police supt. to step up.
"Rather than standing behind officers leading them in NATO he needs to be out here in the community and leading his forces against the issues that we're dealing with," Murray said.
The Fraternal Order of Police is calling on the city to hire more police officers.
Some community activists say besides a visible police presence in the city's most violent neighborhoods, the code of silence must be cracked.
Besides 6 dead this weekend, 29 people were hurt in shootings over the weekend.
Shakaki Asphy’s family says the 16-year-old girl was at the wrong place at the wrong time when she was murdered over the weekend in West Englewood on the South Side.
Judging by the level of crime in the area, it would be difficult to figure out the right place to be.
At about 7 p.m. Saturday, the Harper High School student was on the porch of a home in the 2000 block of West 70th Place with friends. Someone in a gray hoodie ran through a gangway and opened fire, killing Shakaki and wounding Leon Cunningham, 18.
Asphy was among the six people killed and Cunningham was among at least 31 people wounded in Chicago from Friday night though Sunday.
Cunningham was paralyzed a few years ago when he was shot while sitting on the porch of his nearby home. He was in his wheelchair on the sidewalk when he was wounded Saturday, his mother said.
“It’s crazy,” said Della Cunningham. “An innocent girl got shot and my son got shot again — for no reason.”
But the area’s litany of violence doesn’t end there.
It was on the same block that a 10-year-old girl, Siretha White, was shot to death on a porch while she celebrated her surprise birthday party in 2006. And a block away, two men were found shot to death in a car in 2010.
Neighbors say gunfire is part of the background noise on these streets near Damon and 71st.
Albert Chambers, 69, lives next door to the boarded-up home where Shakaki was killed. He heard the shots and ran outside to see her lying on the porch in a pool of blood. Chambers said a stray bullet struck the light fixture on his front porch. The fixture was hanging sideways Sunday.
“What if I was standing there? Could have been me, too.”
Chambers said the shooting is not an “everyday thing. But there’s a lot of criminal activity going on.”
He said he’s lived on the block for more than seven years and doesn’t have any plans to move — despite the problems.
“I’m an old Marine, and they better respect me,” he said. “But there’s no respect for mom or dad or sister or brother here.”
Della Cunningham said she doesn’t plan to move anytime soon, either. She pointed to an expensive wheelchair ramp built for her son on the front of her house. She also said she had a special bathroom designed for him.
“I can’t pay for that somewhere else,” she said.
Shakaki’s family said they’ve noticed the area has grown more dangerous in recent years.
“This neighborhood got terrible,” said her aunt, Brianna Goolsby, 25. “The gangs have taken over. The police (are) always around here. I can’t say it’s their fault. But I can’t say what can be done around here.”
Goolsby said her niece loved basketball and played on a team at Harper. She would have been a junior in the fall.
“It’s so tragic,” Goolsby said. “She was such a nice young lady, and not a bad student. It’s too much to take.”
Police said they believe the shooting may have stemmed from a conflict among rival factions of the Gangster Disciples street gang.
But people on the block where the shooting happened said they believe it was a case of mistaken identity. Earlier in the day, there was gunfire at a nearby gas station at the corner of Damen and 71st and the shooter may have been seeking revenge, one resident said.
“Whatever caused this, it’s gotta stop,” he said.
Citywide, murder is up about 35 percent so far this year. But in Englewood, there hasn’t been much of a change: 19 killings through June 3, compared to 18 for the same period of 2011.
There hasn’t been a huge spike in shootings, either: 101 of them through June 3, compared to 91 for the same period of 2011.
Still, Englewood remains one of the most violent areas of the city, according to police statistics.
The Ogden District on the West Side was the only one in the city with more murders than Englewood — recording 24 homicides through June 3.
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