Chicago police say a 17-year-old male and a juvenile have been charged with attempted first-degree murder in connection with the shooting of two teens last week outside a prominent Catholic church.
Rashad Richardson and a 16-year-old male were each charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery with a handgun for the shooting outside St. Sabina Church last Friday, according to a report Monday.
The teens were scheduled to appear in bond court Tuesday for the shootings, which drew condemnation from the violence plagued community, including some gang members.
St. Sabina was holding sports and activities program for youth Friday night when shots broke out around 6:30 p.m.
One of the teens was shot four times and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in critical condition. The other was listed in "stable" condition with a gunshot wound to his leg and released the next day.
The church's senior pastor, Father Michael Pfleger, who ran to the teens after hearing the gunshots, has been rallying his church and the community to stand up against violence, which has claimed some 45 children over the past school year.
"A couple weekends ago, 11 people killed. 60 some shot in a weekend. Those are numbers like you have in Iraq or you have in Afghanistan," he said.
Though Pfleger has long been active in the battle against violence, Friday's shooting appeared to be a breaking point as it reached an area that most regard as haven.
Pfleger told local radio station WBBM that even admitted gangbangers have expressed anger, with one telling him "You don't touch St. Sabina. Everybody knows this is sacred ground in this community."
Pleger's call for an end to the violence is resonating as far as Washington, where the priest has been urging congregants to write to in hopes that a summit on violence and guns will be organized.
"The stopping of the violence needs a comprehensive response not a band aid solution," the preacher wrote to his congregation Sunday.
"It's time to demand the White House call a National Summit on Violence, but it's also time for reach and every one of us to take ownership and responsibility for our houses, blocks and neighborhoods," he added. "We can stop this violence, we can save our children. So let's do it now!"
Over the past decade, at least 2,600 children and teens have been killed each year by gunfire in the United States. In 2006, the year the latest national data was released by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, there were 3,022 violence-related firearm deaths reported among children under the age of 19.That comes out to about one child every 3 hours, eight children every day, and nearly 60 children every week.