A Chicago man became the last of his siblings to die from gun violence early Saturday (Jan. 26) morning. Ronnie Chambers was shot on the city’s West Side, and had two brothers and a sister all meet a similar fate.
According to family friend, Lavern Smith, Chambers’ death is a devastating blow to his mother. “He was the last one,” Smith told the Chicago Tribune. “I know she’s hurting.”
At around 2 a.m. Smith heard shots, and ran outside to find Chambers wounded. He died in her arms. “All his sibling passed a long time ago. It was a hysterical thing.”
The 33-year-old was sitting in the driver’s seat of a van when one or two people opened fire, according to police. His body was identified by family members at the scene. “He was my everything,” Smith said. “I lost a part of me.”
Police said that another man in the van jumped to the back when the shooting started, saving his own life. He sustained a gunshot wound to the thigh and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. Police did not reveal how many people in total were in the van.
Back in 1995 the first of the siblings, Carlos, was shot at age 18, shortly after Thanksgiving. In April of 2000, 15-year-old La Toya was shot and killed, followed by her older brother, Jerome, whose life ended at 23, three months later. Chambers’ mother gave an interview to the Tribune in 2000, saying that she was “afraid that [the killing] won’t stop until he’s [Chambers] gone too.”
Chambers’ body was inked with tributes to his dead siblings. As a former gang member with 29 arrests and four felony convictions, he was attempting to turn his life around, and was trying to stay alive. “They say you can’t outrun death, but I can try to dodge it,” he said in a previous interview. “I don’t even try to live day by day anymore, it’s more like second by second.”
No suspects have been arrested in Chambers death, but a witness who gave an interview on the condition of anonymity, said that whoever carried out the shooting “knew what he was doing.”
As the violence in Chicago continues to grab headlines, the Windy City was hit by multiple overnight shootings this weekend, one of which killed two of three men shot outside of a diner at 4 a.m., Saturday.
Photo: Chicago Tribune