7-Year-Old Chicago Girl in Critical Condition After Being Shot While Trick-or-Treating
The suspect was wearing a 'Jason' Halloween mask and was believed to be targeting a gang member
A 7-year-old girl who was out trick-or-treating with her father on Halloween is “fighting for her life” after being shot in the neck, Chicago police say.
At 5:30 p.m., the girl, who has not been identified, was walking with her father down a street full of trick-or-treaters in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood when shots rang out, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during a news conference Friday morning.
“I’m disgusted, but committed to doing everything we can to find the cowards that would engage in a gun battle in the early evening hours while children were trick-or-treating,” Johnson said.
Police say a man, wearing a Jason Halloween mask, was standing in an alley near the victim and fired at least seven bullets in an attempt to hit a rival Latin King gang member who was walking among the children.
The target, who was found a block away, was struck by a bullet in his hand and was “uncooperative” with police.
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The Tribune reports the girl was wearing a black-and-red costume and was believed to have been dressed as a ladybug or bee.
“We heard the shots…and I went outside,’’ Lali Lara, who works in a cell phone store near the scene, told the Chicago Tribune. “The girl’s father was screaming, ‘My little girl’s been shot!’”
The girl was brought into the cell phone store and had pressure put on her chest to help stop the bleeding.
“I was pressing on her and calling her name so she won’t close her eyes,’’ Lara told the Tribune. ”She was looking at me, and I was calling her name. She was holding my hand for three minutes and then she let me go. I have kids — I would go crazy if something happened to my kids.”
When first responders arrived, the girl was taken to Stroger Hospital, where she is in critical but stable condition. She was shot in her neck and upper chest, according to police. On Friday morning, Johnson said the girl still “clings to life.”
The gunman fled the scene but was caught on security cameras. Johnson believes multiple individuals are involved and urged anyone with information to come forward.
“Incidents like this don’t just touch those living in the specific neighborhood on a certain side of town, this is a crime that touches all of us,” Johnson said. “Together we can be one set of eyes, one set of ears. Together we can find the individuals responsible for this abhorrent crime and together we can bring them to justice.”
The 32-year-old target has not been cooperating with police.
No arrests have been made as of Friday morning.