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Gun violence strikes Chicago woman twice

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Chicago woman is in mourning this week following the death of her daughter who was gunned down over the weekend on the city's South Side and it is not the first time a member of Shirley Gist's family was a victim of gun violence.

It is not the first time a member of Shirley Gist's family was a victim of gun violence.

Gist says violence has haunted her family for years. In 1991, the senior citizen lost her 13-month-old grandson Denzel to gun violence. On Saturday, the infant's mother, 44-year-old Tonya Gist, was gunned down in the 300 block of W.108th Pl. Gist says she heard her daughter knocking at the door saying, "open the door."

"I tried to pick her up and they wouldn't let me," Shirley Gist said. "She died right there in front of my door."

Gist says her daughter was only gone for about 10 minutes and because she is legally blind, she could not run down the stairs fast enough when her daughter called for help. She said she continues to blame herself.

"I feel like it is my fault because I couldn't get down to open the door in time," Gist said. "That is why I am stressed."

The home inside and out is riddled with gunshots.

Gist said more than 20 years ago her infant son Denzel lost his life to gun violence at the intersection of 87th and Cottage Grove when they stopped to get some gas.

"Someone shot through the window," she said. "The bullet went into Denzel out of his back and into Tonya's stomach."

Gist does not believe her daughter was a target, just an innocent victim in the wrong place at the wrong time. Gist, who suffers from heat problems, says she not only lost her beloved daughter, but her best friend and her caretaker.

"If anybody knows anything please tell who did it because I am hurting bad," Gist said. "She helped me a lot. Now what am I suppose to do?"

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