Less than a week after the start of school, a South Side high school was coping Tuesday with a nearby shooting that wounded three students.
Three Chatham Academy High School students were shot and wounded shortly after the end of classes Monday, a school official told WBEZ. At least one of the students ran back to the school to get help.
On Tuesday in the cafeteria, blood spots on the floor were still visible -- details the custodian was trying to clean up. Chicago Public Schools officials and security guards were present at the school at some point throughout the day. CPS officials confirmed students were receiving crisis support and extra security was assigned to Chatham, a charter school in the Burnside neighborhood.
A man who mentors Chatham students was there, too. Brandon, who didn’t want to give his last name, worries students are losing hope.
“The solution is leaving Chicago,” he said. “And I feel like kids got a lot of trauma, a lot of things they shouldn't go through at 10 years old, 15 years old, 20 years old.”
Two senior girls were still reeling from the shooting the day before.
“It was a shocking thing to see, someone coming at you bleeding out, because it could’ve been one of us,” one of the students said.
The cause of the shooting is under investigation, and police said two men are in custody and charges are pending. Chicago police Chief of Patrol Fred Waller said someone got out of a car and shot at the male victims, ages 16, 17 and 18. The 16-year-old old was shot in the shoulder, the 17-year-old was struck in the leg and the 18-year-old was wounded in the right arm and left armpit, Waller said.
The Chatham girls connected the violence in their neighborhood with the poverty around them.
“No money, everyone out here hungry, hungry,” said one student. “Some people are out here starving -- their only meal is at school so when they get out here, they are acting wild because, for one, there is nothing to do.”
The girls said things don’t have to be this way, and they offered some solutions.
“I’ll say free public transportation for all students, free programs, stuff for the community, period,” one said.