A prayerful balloon release was held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the Mobil gas station in Evanston where Carl Dennison III lost his life to gun violence on November 28. Friends and family members gathered with his mother, Laresa Jackson, and his father, Carl Dennison, Jr., to express love for the 17-year-old, who was a senior at Niles North High School in Skokie. Pastor Rosalind Henderson, Bethel AME Church, led the group in prayer.
Four other teens, ages 14 to 18, were shot and wounded in the attack. Carl Dennison, Jr. shared the tragic news that the gunfire that killed his eldest son also wounded his nephew, who was shot in the arm and leg.
Several people who gathered at the site of the shootings spoke out against gun violence, which results in an average of 38,827 deaths each year in the U.S., according to information posted on the Everytown Research & Policy website. The U.S. gun homicide rate is 25 times that of other high-income countries. Firearms are the leading cause of death for American children and teens.