CHICAGO (AP) — Two teenagers who attended the same Chicago high school were killed just hours apart, the latest violent tragedy involving young people in the city.
"It's heartbreaking. They call it the Simeon curse because we lose a student every year. When is it going to stop?" Aie'rianna Williams, a student at Simeon Career Academy High School, told WLS-TV.
Jamari Williams and Kentrell McNeal, both 15, were shot in separate incidents Tuesday, police said.
Jamari was outside a bank in a strip mall when he was shot. McNeal was in a car with a 14-year-old boy who was shot and injured.
Family members indicated that Jamari's father was killed last year, said the Rev. Donovan Price, a community activist.
"It actually just multiplies the pain," Price told the Chicago Tribune. "I think that more people need to realize the importance of each and every person killed by gun violence, not just get used to it like, 'Oh, another one.'"
Kentrell was a member of Good Kids Mad City, a youth group working to end violence. Jamari played football and loved sports.
The deaths bring to at least 19 the number of children 15 and younger who have been shot and killed this year in Chicago. The total number of children shot and wounded in Chicago this year is at least 148 children 15 years of age and younger, according to Sun-Times data. Fourteen of the wounded were under 6 years old.
Kenya Westbrook-Flowers was at Simeon on Wednesday to pick up her 14-year-old daughter.
"This is really sad and nobody is doing anything about it," she said.