ROGERS PARK — Trina Carr, stricken with grief and steps away from where her son, Markeyo, was gunned down last week, took a microphone to address attendees of a candlelight vigil held in his honor.
"I want to take a moment," she said, "to turn around to each person beside you — on each side — and say, 'If anyone didn't tell you I love you, I love you.'"
In chorus, the three words echoed among the dozens gathered on a frigid Tuesday night outside the Rogers Park McDonald's that was a grisly murder scene nearly a week before.
It was that message of love that Trina Carr, clergy and others preached in hope it would bring an end to the tit-for-tat killings that plague Chicago's streets.
"Oh Lord, ... this kind of violence is senseless," prayed Deacon Wesley Dorr of the United Church of Rogers Park, like he had done so many times before for young people killed too soon. "Lord, we lift up all of the youth in our community. Lord, we lift up Markeyo Carr's family to you, Lord, that your healing hand be upon them.
"God, we pray for peace in our community."
Markeyo Carr's sister, Dysheka Bibbs, wished for change.
"Today is not solely about Markeyo but the other children we lost in our community, who were wounded or gunned down," said Dibbs, 28, through the megaphone and to those huddled in the cold and illuminated by candlelight. " The old saying goes, 'It takes a village to raise a child.' Our village is Rogers Park. We need to be proactive, stand together as a community, to protect our children.
"Together we can achieve anything."
After the vigil, some attendees retreated inside the McDonald's for warmth, while others stuck their candles into a mound of snow, where a poster board featured messages to Carr from people who will miss him.
"We had the same lunch period and he just sat by me every day," said Rouguiatou Bah, 16, a junior at Amundsen High School, shocked by what had happened. "Never in my life had I ever seen Markeyo in any kind of violent lifestyle. He kept it real with everybody."
She said the vigil helped her grieve.
"It's hard, but it kind of gets easier over time," she said.
Another friend, T.J., 19, who wished to only share his nickname, said he had attended Kilmer Elementary School with Carr.
"We were like bros — always stuck together," he said.
And he had one message for the perpetrators of the violence that claimed his friend: "Love each other, you know, don't hurt each other — It's crazy, man."
No arrests have been made in the shooting that left Carr dead with a gunshot wound in his head and three other teens — two 18-year-old men and a 15-year-old girl — injured.
But a police source said one of the surviving victims was an Uptown rapper known for provocative music videos that promoted violence. He might have been the masked gunman's target, the source said.
A surveillance video from a nearby restaurant appeared to show the suspect follow, then open fire on, the group of teens.
Trina Carr, Markeyo's mom, said she was strengthened by the support shown for her and her family at the vigil Tuesday.
"It helped me to mourn him," she said. "Life is precious and life is too short and it's a terrible thing" to be wasted.