Teenager Who Focused Curbing Gun Violence in Chicago Shot Dead

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Anti-violence activist Delmonte Johnson, who focused on curbing gun violence, was fatally shot dead on Wednesday evening along a South Side Street in Chicago. He was just 19 and a part of a city-based group named GoodKids MadCity, which was formed after February’s Parkland, Fla., deadly school shooting incident in which 17 students and staff members were killed.

Johnson and his GoodKids MadCity group worked towards reducing gun violence in the city by pushing to improve mental health treatment and create jobs for young people. A data reveals since January 381 people have been killed and 2,074 shot in gun violence though the figure is less than that of 2017, until the same period. However, the impact in neighborhoods including South and West Sides of Chicago is devastating. Lately surges of gunfire have been seen on some of the summer weekends in the city.

A 25-year-old leader of GoodKids MadCity, Carlil Pitman, said it is heartbreaking that a person trying to stop gun violence has been shot dead. Johnson’s friends describe him as an athlete and trained electrician.

According to police the teenager was shot in the stomach and chest before 7:30 p.m. while he was walking along Euclid Avenue. He was taken to a nearby hospital and couldn’t survive. Two people are being questioned but no motive could be established and no charges have been brought.

Police department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Johnson’s goal was to end violence in the city and it is incredibly frustrating that he has been shot dead.

Johnson is not the first person who was shot dead taking part in programs to stop gun violence in Chicago. A 58-year-old William Cooper was shot last year near to a South Side outreach center where for long period he had counseled young people and helped them find jobs. He was commonly addressed as Mayor of 95th Street. A 23-year-old Xavier Joy too was killed in 2017 working with disadvantaged young people. He was shot near to his South Side home.

A leader in the movement and Parkland student, David Hogg, tweeted about Johnson’s death saying, “This has to end.” He extended his condolences to Johnson’s family.

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