Great-grandma, 81, shot, wounded after daughter’s wake on South Side

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Iola Burress | (family photo)

An 81-year-old great-grandmother was shot Friday night just minutes after viewing the body of her recently deceased daughter at a South Side funeral home.

Iola Burress survived being shot four times but was due to undergo surgery Saturday, relatives said. Her 34-year-old grandson, Sylvester Burress, also was shot in the drive-by shooting in Auburn-Gresham.

“It’s very hard right now because we’re trying to bury her daughter and assist her, and then this happens today during the wake,” said Yolanda McBride, Burress’s granddaughter.

McBride’s mother, Laverne Burress, 60, is the daughter the 81-year-old was mourning.

Police said Iola Burress and her grandson were standing outside in the 7800 block of South Carpenter when they were shot by someone from a sport-utility vehicle that drove by.

The grandmother, who suffers from dementia, was shot in the right wrist and abdomen, and her grandson was shot in the hip, according to the police, who said were both treated at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

The elder Burress needed surgery, which worried the family because Laverne Burress, who died last May 9, didn’t make it out of heart surgery. She was Iola Burress’ youngest daughter.

“It makes you very nervous that she has to go into surgery at this time,” said McBride, 38, a social worker.

McBride said she doesn’t know why anyone shot at her family but thinks it might have been a case of mistaken identity.

“I’m disappointed … the male population, that they feel you can just shoot,” she said. “My grandmother’s life was put at risk. We’re just praying that she pulls through.”

Iola Burress had to miss her daughter’s funeral Saturday because she was in the hospital.

Earlier, McBride said, “My grandmother will not be able to put her daughter to rest.”


Sylvester Burress | Family photo

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