ENGLEWOOD — An artist who erected a controversial memorial to the city's gun victims in Englewood plans to add more crosses at a Sunday afternoon vigil.
Greg Zanis, a West Side native who now lives in Aurora, said he will add 20 crosses to the 44 already in the lot at 5500 S. Bishop St. The vigil will begin at 3 p.m. and is expected to last about 20 minutes.
Zanis said he's invited families of some murder victims from January to come Sunday, and he said he encourages them to take home wooden crosses he's bringing to the vigil.
Shortly after Zanis first put up the memorial crosses to honor Chicago's 2017 murder victims in January, residents and community leaders started speaking out against the tribute.
Mothers Against Senseless Killings, nicknamed Englewood's "Army of Moms," said it planned to remove the crosses if Zanis wouldn't, but they decided to halt the action when there was talk of hosting a community meeting instead to discuss the situation.
Neither MASK founder Tamar Manasseh, who grew up on the block, nor 16th Ward Ald. Toni Foulkes could be reached for comment Friday.
Zanis said that he would prefer to meet with individuals privately instead of at a town hall. He said that he wants to meet with Resident Association of Greater Englewood President Aysha Butler, who also opposes the crosses.
"I don't want to do a big meeting, that's not proper," Zanis said. "I don't want to add insult to injury. I was very delighted on how it worked out with MASK."