Andrea Stoudemire and Chantell Grant dedicated their lives to combating the rampant gun violence tearing apart their neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, only to meet their untimely demise courtesy of stray bullets.
CBS News reports that on July 26, Stoudemire, 35, and Grant, 26, were killed by gunfire intended for an alleged gang member who was recently released from prison, according to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
“We have no information to suggest they were the intended targets,” he told CBS News on Tuesday, noting that investigators are seeking out leads.
Four years ago, Mothers Against Senseless Killings was launched to prevent gun violence of this nature by “putting eyes on the streets, interrupting violence and crime, and teaching children to grow up as friends rather than enemies,” according to the organization’s website. By focusing on violence prevention, food insecurity, and housing, as well as providing access to educational and professional growth opportunities, MASK has left an indelible mark in cities such as Chicago, Evansville, Ind., and Memphis, Tenn.
To that end, MASK is a constant presence on the corner of 75th Street and Stewart Avenue in Chicago, which is exactly where members Stoudemire and Grant were when they were tragically gunned down. But while police believe they weren’t the intended targets, MASK founder Tamar Manasseh feels otherwise.
“They killed mothers on a corner where mothers sit every day,” she told CBS News. “You don’t have mothers killed in a place that is sacred to mothers and not take that as a message.”
From CBS News:
The drive-by shooting followed what has become a familiar pattern in Chicago, where more people are fatally shot than in any other city in the U.S. Though homicides have decreased in recent years and are on a pace to drop again this year, police statistics show there have been 281 in 2019 as of July 28. And during the weekend in which the two women died, 48 people were shot in the city, nine of them fatally, reports CBS Chicago. The dead reportedly included a three-year-old child who was killed in an apparent gun accident.
“I haven’t slept because I am trying to figure out how we can stop this,” Manasseh told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Who’s next? I just keep thinking, ‘Who’s next?’”
In their pursuit of justice, MASK has launched a GoFundMe campaign in order to reward those who come forward with information leading to the arrests of those responsible. Its goal was to raise $5,000, and the campaign currently stands at over $18,000 in donations.
“We deserve to live without fear and the young women, Chantell Grant and Andrea Stoudemire who were torn from their children families tonight, deserve justice,” the campaign page says.
To date, no arrests have been made.