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Melissa Ortega Chicago Shooting Has Parents Who Lost Kids Seething


Melissa Ortega Chicago Shooting Has Parents Who Lost Kids Seething

CHICAGO—When Milagros Burgos heard about the shooting death of 8-year-old Melissa Ortega on Saturday, her immediate reaction was dread.

Then came numbness.

She recalled experiencing something similar in 2014, when her own 18-year-old daughter, Alexandria Imani Burgos, was killed by a stray bullet while sitting in a kitchen waiting for her younger brother. The sensation, Burgos told The Daily Beast on Tuesday, returns every time she hears about another young person killed by gun violence that years of promises from Chicago elected officials—and a new administration in City Hall—have failed to address.

“When you hear about these repeated crimes and it feels like nothing has been done, it puts other mothers in a numb feeling,” Burgos told The Daily Beast. “Every time this happens, it brings you back to that immediate, numb feeling.”

Burgos is just one of dozens of mothers who have had to live without one of their children due to the onslaught of gun and gang violence that has plagued the Chicago area in recent years. And her patience has long expired.

“I am angry about many things. I am angry that my daughter’s case has never been solved. I am angry at some political officials who do not advocate for gun safety legislation. I am angry that people seem to think this type of violence is normal. This isn’t normal,” Burgos said. “Just like Melissa, these are innocent lives that are at stake. And more often than not, nothing happens to solve these cases or make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The Chicago Police Department said that on Saturday afternoon, Ortega was killed by a stray bullet in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. The deadly incident has since garnered national attention—and put renewed pressure on officials in Chicago who have spent plenty of time discussing the plague of gun violence in their midst, but, activists and residents say, failed to make serious progress.

The Chicago Mayor’s office did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment. On Monday, however, Mayor Lori Lightfoot insisted in a press conference that her office was doing everything possible, and…

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