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Random shootings of seniors and children put city on edge

Why are criminals randomly shooting seniors and children?

A woman sits in front of a memorial set up for Yvonne Ruzich outside Baltimore Food & Liquor Store in the Hegewisch neighborhood, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021.
A memorial for Yvonne Ruzich outside Baltimore Food & Liquor Store, near where the 70-year-old woman was shot and killed Monday in the Hegewisch neighborhood.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Motive.

That’s what’s missing.

Why did two Black males clothed like Ninjas gun down a 70-year-old white woman in Hegewisch at 4:30 a.m. Monday?

What is that about?

It isn’t like Yvonne Ruzich stood a chance against two armed men.

According to what police told reporters, Ruzich was seated in her car speaking with someone in another car before reporting to work at Baltimore Food & Liquor Store in the 13300 block of South Baltimore Avenue when one of the shooters walked up to the driver’s side and fired.

Ruzich managed to drive off but hit a stop sign a short distance away. The shooters chased her in their car and shot at her multiple times, according to news reports.

Revenge? Money? An attempted carjacking? Hate?

Why would these men chase down a senior citizen and shoot her dead?

Because we don’t know the why, we are haunted by our own vulnerability.

There is fear and anger.

What kind of people would do such a thing to an older woman?

Have they no mothers or grandmothers? Do they really believe there will be no consequences on earth and in heaven for the evil they have done?

I get tired of people blaming poverty, lack of jobs, and community disinvestment for the “demonic acts” taking place all over our city.

It seems like killing has become some sick sport.

And while I understand why so many of you are tired of hearing about violence, ignoring the shootings won’t make them disappear.

We have to take our heads out of the sand and try to figure out why.

On the opposite side of town, the Northwest Side, an unidentified shooter or shooters killed 7-year-old Serenity Broughton and left her 6-year-old sister clinging to life when they fired at the car the girls were getting into.

According to reports, their mother was placing the girls in the back seat of a car when shots rang out.

What could be the motive for such a heinous act?

Retaliation or revenge seem far-fetched.

There must be something more going on than the often-cited block-to-block warfare between gang factions.

Serenity Broughton was killed and her younger sister, Aubrey, was wounded in a shooting Aug. 15 in Belmont Central.
Serenity Broughton and Aubrey Broughton were wounded in a shooting Sunday in Belmont Central. Serenity later died.
Provided by family

Why we are witnessing such wanton behavior, not only against police but also against ordinary citizens?

It is as if the people behind these violent acts are trying to outdo one another.

A 67-year-old special education teacher from Evergreen Park was shot and killed on the Dan Ryan Expressway on Tuesday.

Colleagues remember Denise Huguelet as a “pure, honest, fair, and kind” soul.

Again, you ask yourself why?

Why would anyone take a random life like that?

Denise Huguelet, a teacher in Evergreen Park, was fatally shot Tuesday on the South Side of Chicago.
Denise Huguelet, a teacher in Evergreen Park, was fatally shot Tuesday on the South Side of Chicago.
Evergreen Park Elementary School District 124/Facebook

Thankfully, Illinois State Police apprehended two people from a car seen speeding away from the scene and recovered a handgun.

But it will take several months, if not years, before these cases show up in court and we learn details of the crimes.

By then, whatever defense the lawyers put up will sound like excuses, and we will learn little about how these shooters became soulless.

But the people who have lived this life have the insights that might help us understand what is happening on these mean streets.

For instance, one of the best books on criminal gang behavior was written by a man who spent decades on death row before being put to death by lethal injection in 2005.

Stanley Tookie Williams was the co-founder of the notorious Crips street gang. His memoir, “Blue Rage, Black Redemption,” published in 2004, is prophetic. The book speaks directly to the situation many Black youth find themselves in today.

“Like countless other black gang members and criminals, we were unconscious accomplices in our own subjugation — our own worst foes,” he wrote.

In his time on the street, Williams could see that gang conflicts once settled with a fistfight were beginning to be handled by gunfire.

“Earning a reputation through fisticuffs was being replaced by gunslinging, by youths who lacked an ability to fight and needed an equalizer. It took nerve to fight with your hands,” Williams wrote.

It is OK to ask Why.

The only thing we know for sure is these shootings are the work of cowards — dangerous ones.