In effort to curb violence, candlelight vigil held at Morse and Ashland

The family of James Brown mourns his death during a candlelight vigil Tuesday night outside the United Church of Rogers Park. Brown was shot and killed on Ashland Avenue last week. Police suspect the shooting, and several others in the past weeks, to be gang-related. Photo by Benjamin Woodard.

Dozens of Rogers Park residents, CeaseFire staff and neighborhood religious leaders gathered Tuesday night at the southeast corner of Ashland and Morse Avenues to decry the shooting of James Brown, who died of a gunshot wound last week.

Brown’s loved ones also mourned the death of a friend and family member in the candlelight vigil.

Brown, an alleged gang member, was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday, April 5, at the intersection of Pratt and Ashland.

Brown was on parole for shooting a 9-year-old boy less than a block away from where he was slain.

Felix Jusino, a violence interrupter with CeaseFire, said he and other staff have increased their presence in Rogers Park after a rash of suspected gang-related shootings in the neighborhood.

“We’re trying to do anything we can to stop these guys from shooting,” Jusino said.

The vigil began at about 6:20 p.m. and ended around 6:45. Several pastors prayed for the cyclical violence to end.

“You don’t fight violence with violence,” said deacon Wes Dorr of the United Church of Rogers Park, “you fight violence with love.”