CHICAGO – In 2006, 18-year-old Terrell Bosley, who played the bass in several church bands, was helping a friend unload his drum set from his car when shots rang out outside of a church on Chicago’s far South Side.
His mother, Pam Bosley, was preparing dinner while her husband was helping their two other sons with their homework when she got the call that her son had been shot.
“We ran to the church,” she said. “Police was everywhere.”
Later that night, Terrell died at a nearby hospital.
“[Terrell] didn't do anything wrong. He was in college and working a job, doing so much, doing all the right things,” she said. “And at church, a place that's supposed to be safe.”
This year, Chicago has had nearly 400 homicides, with most of the victims being young and black. After the bullets, their friends and families are left to heal – and to try to move forward.
Some, such as Lamar Johnson, who grew up in the city’s notorious Englewood neighborhood, are working to stop the violence before it happens. He oversees the Brave Youth Leaders program, a teen youth council dedicated to building peace.
Others, such as Pam Bosley, are dedicated to helping families recover after losing a loved one. The loss of her oldest son proved so devastating that she attempted suicide twice. But Bosley decided to turn her pain into purpose, leaving a 20-year career in banking to start “Purpose Over Pain,” a support group for parents who have lost children to gun violence.
She now works at Saint Sabina’s Catholic Church, a fixture on Chicago’s South Side in the part of the city that locals call “Chi-raq.”
America Tonight traveled to the Windy City and discovered that despite the bloodshed, residents such as Bosley and Johnson are taking a stand and trying to build a lasting peace.