Chantell Grant, 26, and Andrea Stoudemire, 36, volunteers at the nonprofit Mothers Against Senseless Killings, or MASK, were gunned down Friday on a corner near the south Chicago neighborhood of Auburn Gresham as they promoted efforts to end gun violence. The killer, riding in an SUV, escaped.
Members of the anti-violence group have been occupying the corner where Grant and Stoudemire were shot since its founding in 2015. Parents bring their children to the spot and have cookouts, learn to dance and play games.
“For mothers to be killed in a place where mothers go to seek safety and sisterhood, I take that as a personal threat,” MASK founder Tamar Manasseh said at a press conference over the weekend. “Because when you come for one of us, you better believe they came for all of us.”
The group’s goal is to create safer spaces through community building and neighborhood events. MASK was established “as a way to put eyes on the streets, interrupt violence and crime, and teach children to grow up as friends rather than enemies,” the group says on its website.
Grant and Stoudemire were shot multiple times in the chest at around 10 p.m. by someone inside a blue SUV, police told BuzzFeed. The moms were pronounced dead at a hospital. A man who also was shot in the attack was reportedly in stable condition.
Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said no arrests had been made.
“We have no evidence that we can point to that suggests the women were the intended targets,” Guglielmi told BuzzFeed. “We also have no evidence to the contrary.”
Manasseh said she was heartbroken by the killings.
“It is terrifying. It is heartbreaking,” she told the Sun-Times. “I haven’t slept because I am trying to figure out how we can stop this ... I just keep thinking, ‘Who’s next?’”