Burnside Residents Discuss How To Stem Violence After 6 Shot At Funeral

Bob Roberts
October 23, 2018 - 10:51 pm
In this Monday, Oct. 22, 2018 photo, residents watch as Chicago Police investigate following a shooting after a funeral service in Chicago. Police scrambled Tuesday to ward off retaliatory attacks by street gangs after a Chicago rapper known for taunting

Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- One day after six people were wounded when gunmen opened fire outside of a church in the South Side Burnside neighborhood following a rapper's funeral, ministers, politicians and community residents gathered in the church to discuss ways to end the violence.

Some 200 people attended the meeting at the Bethlehem Star Missionary Baptist Church, at 9200 S. Cottage Grove Av.  All were asked by Pastor Roosevelt Watkins III for "positive ideas," which were heavy on youth jobs, activities and involvement, underwritten by increases in city, state and federal funding. Another minister suggested replacing porch lights with blue lights to signify to troublemakers that they call police.  But one minister, Now is the Time Ministry of Faith's Pastor Ed Jones, quickly spotted a problem.

"Just take a look around the room, and see what we're missing," Jones said. "We're missing the youth."

The group came together following the Monday afternoon shooting that broke out between two rival gangs outside the Bathelem Star church, which has just hosted a funeral of murdered rapper Vantrease R. Criss, known as "Dooski Tha Man." Included among the wounded at the funeral shooting was a fellow rapper who was shot in his head and listed in critical condition.

All professed concern, but one Burnside businessman said he's thinking of moving because he cannot get police or the alderman's office to return his calls, and said funerals at Bethlehem Star should routinely have security details.

He said he had sought such a meeting for a long time, and said it never would have happened had the mass shooting not occurred.  The district commander said little about the investigation other than detectives are reviewing security video and that many of those who attended the funeral carried guns.