28 Dead. 28 young people. Boys and girls, sons and daughters.
Since January, 28 public school students have been murdered. At least 20 were shot. Some were stabbed or suffocated. Most of the killings were gang related and took place on Chicago's south side.
Outside the city, the murders have received scant attention. Some believe it's because of race. "If these kids were dying in the wealthy white suburbs, the world would hear about it," said Arnie Duncan, the chief executive of Chicago Public Schools.
It's hard to disagree with him.
One of the young victims was 16-year-old Blair Holt. He was an honor student. He had dreams of making it big in the music business. And he was shot to death by reputed gang member who boarded a bus and opened fire. Students say Holt was protecting another student when he was shot.
Holt's father is a Chicago police officer. His mother a captain with the city's Fire Department. Both want to know when the killing will stop.
We'll be in Chicago tonight to try and understand what is happening here and around the nation. A rise in juvenile crime has contributed to rising crime statistics around the country. These kids should not be statistics however. Their names should be known, their deaths reported on around the country.
We are here to start a conversation about these kids, their deaths, their lives, and about so many other kids whose lives many of us probably don't even begin to understand.
We'll talk to Mayor Richard Daley, school officials, young residents of Chicago's South Side, and Blair Holt's father.
We'll see you tonight.
--By Anderson Cooper