Riddles of bullets in the same street corner where they often distributed food and took children to play to make the city more liveable and safe, challenging the gang wars.

Chantell Grant (26) and Andrea Stoudemire (35), mothers of four and three children now orphaned, died in Chicago. Both were part of a group called Mothers Against Senseless Killings, committed against the violence of firearms in the southern part of the metropolis. A group born five years ago after another young mother was killed in the same place.

The police believe that the real target of the shots were not the two women but a man affiliated with a street gang and recently released from jail. It is a 58-year-old whose name was not communicated. In any case, he is not cooperating with the police. The investigations are continuing but for now no arrests or clues. Grant and Stoudemire were found lifeless on the pavement after a barrage of shots fired by a blue SUV.

Chicago, anti-violence mothers riddled with bullets and killed in the street
A memorial stands at 75th Street and Stewart Avenue, in Chicago, Tuesday, July 30, 2019 where two women were slain in a drive-by shooting Friday night. (John Alexander/Chicago Sun-Times via AP) (John Alexander/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

They went as usual to distribute food to the other mothers of the group and to watch over a clearing turned into a play area for the children of the neighbourhood. They had just finished their tour and wanted to go and buy food for their families but, as soon as they started walking, they were mowed, lengthening the long list of casual victims of the many shootings that still bloody the city of Al Capone.

This is why we are on the road seven days a week trying to create a safe place where people can learn to become good neighbours and not kill each other“, said Tamar Manasseh, founder of the group. The woman rejects the idea that the victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time. “They kill mothers in a corner where they sit every day, we can’t have mothers killed in a place that is sacred to them,” she continues.

On June 25th another 23-year-old woman was struck in the leg, back and face by someone aboard a black vehicle on the same block where Grant and Stoudemire were killed. The young woman has survived and according to the police there are no indications of possible links between the two episodes. Chicago, one of America’s most dangerous cities, has tried to redeem itself from its tormented history, especially after having adopted Barack Obama, who still has a home in Chicago. But the spread of weapons and gangs, especially in the most disadvantaged areas, gives no respite, with a violence that often affects even unsuspecting passers-by. Only in the last two years has there been a relative decrease in the murders: so far this year there are 281. And during the weekend in which the two mothers were killed, another 48 people were hit by firearms, of which eight fatally.