CHICAGO (WLS) — ABC 7 CHICAGO takes an in-depth look at gun violence in Chicago and its suburbs, the toll it takes on individuals and communities, and what can be done to prevent the heartbreaking recurrence of injuries and fatalities that threaten the well-being of our citizens with the two-part special “OUR CHICAGO: STOP THE VIOLENCE.” Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini will host part 1 on Friday, Aug. 5, at 11:30 a.m. and part 2 at 6:30 p.m. ABC 7’s Evelyn Holmes, who often reports on the victims of gun fatalities and their grieving families, shares her perspective in part two of this special program. Also, on Friday, Aug. 5, ABC 7 Eyewitness News will cover gun violence-related topics with stories throughout the day on its linear and digital platforms, featuring special reports by ABC 7’s I-Team investigative reporter Chuck Goudie and reporter Leah Hope.

The specials will also exclusively stream live On ABC 7’s Connected TV Apps on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku.

In “OUR CHICAGO: Stop the Violence, Part 1,” hosts Warner and Chiaverini examine the omnipresent reality of gun violence in Chicago and its suburbs, looking at the traumatic effect on those who have experienced it firsthand. Those forever changed by gun violence share their stories and offer insight on the healing process, including Chicago mothers who have dealt with the pain of losing a child and residents of Highland Park who are still coping with the mass shooting aftershock. Highland Park resident Liz Turnipseed, who was shot at the Highland Park Fourth of July Parade, and Brad Hokin, who ran to the scene to offer assistance, share their experiences. Lilia Daniels, a Highland Park small business owner, urges people not to let this event define their city. Community leaders working to tackle the problem also join the conversation. Illinois State Representative Bob Morgan and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering discuss what can be done moving forward, including the need to remove combat weapons from civilian hands.

In addition, Ujimaa Medics, a group that teaches first response for gunshot wounds, talks about their work teaching others how to respond to violence.

Panelists include the following:

-Angela Gregg, whose 4-year-old son was killed by a stray bullet, wonders about the disparity in news coverage compared to the Highland Park shooting

-Elizabeth Ramirez, co-founder of Parents for Peace and Justice, a non-profit helping parents who have lost children to gun violence and advocate for answers in unsolved cases

In part 2 of this special, the I-Team’s Chuck Goudie explores the question: Is Chicago as violent as some say? The I-Team looks at data to analyze Chicago’s reputation as one of the most violent cities in the nation.

A conversation with key community panelists will focus on several other critical questions surrounding gun violence to try and pinpoint solutions, such as will more policing help, how do we keep guns out of the wrong hands, and should there be a ban on assault rifles, among others.

Panelists include the following:

-Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown, who is responsible for critical functions such as planning and implementing the community policing strategy

-Evelyn Holmes, ABC 7 reporter and Chicago native, covers the tragic consequences of gun violence in her role as a reporter for the station

-Chris Harris, pastor of Bright Star Church in the Bronzeville community and founder of a non-profit that focuses on five specific anti-violence measures to help families and youth

-Fr. Michael Pfleger, pastor at St. Sabina Church, Chicago’s largest African American Catholic Church, anti-violence advocate and creator of BRAVE, a church youth group committed to violence intervention

-Felicia Ballard, a Chicago native and young mother who lost both her father and fiancé to gun violence

-Kathryn Bocanegra, PhD, assistant professor at the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago, talks about mental health and violence prevention

The following news stories will also be covered on ABC 7’s linear and digital platforms.

Chuck Goudie and the ABC 7 I-Team talk to law enforcement about the looming threat of lone wolf shooters, social media red flags in connection to mass shooting suspects and what, if any, responsibility social media companies have in removing posts. The I-Team also dissects the truths and myths about the AR-15, a semi-automatic weapon. Goudie visits a shooting range to address the firepower and velocity of bullets fired from this AR-15 and details the damage they can do in comparison to other weapons.

Leah Hope will sit down with three local faith leaders – Rabbi Ike Serotta of Makom Solel Lakeside Synagogue, Rev. Ira Acree of Greater St. John Bible Church in the Austin community and Pastor Quincy Worthington of Highland Park Presbyterian Church – to offer their insight on gun violence and solutions. Video from the prayer vigil held by the Leaders Network of faith leaders in the wake of the mass shooting on July 4 is featured. Members of the Leaders Network also reflect on their visits to cities affected by gun violence in an effort to offer support.




About ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago

ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago is the No. 1 local news source and most-watched television station in Chicago. With top-rated daily newscasts spanning decades and the largest social media presence in the market with more than 2.6 million Facebook followers, ABC7 Eyewitness News provides breaking news, investigative reporting, weather, politics, traffic and sports in the multiplatform space to Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana. Named Best News Operation by the Associated Press for four consecutive years, ABC 7 Eyewitness News produces “Chicago Proud,” a series of features that spotlights everyday heroes in and around Chicago. The station also produces the highest-rated New Year’s Eve special in Chicago, holiday kickoff special “The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival,” syndicated to a national audience, as well as the award-winning program series “Our Chicago,” which showcases the city’s diversity and highlights contributions in the Black, Hispanic, Asian, LGBTQ+ communities, among others. Every Friday, Windy City Weekend entertains while giving Chicagoans everything they need to know about what’s happening in the city. ABC 7 is the only Chicago station producing and broadcasting parades representing Chicago’s rich cultural history. In addition to producing town halls focused on current social issues, the station has a long and proud tradition of broadcasting political candidate debates keeping Chicago’s electorate informed. ABC7’s outreach efforts include annual partnerships with the Red Cross for life-saving blood drives, one of the biggest one-day drives in the country and, most recently, spearheading an effort to raise more than $1.5 million for area food pantries.

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