A 12-year-old boy was “fighting for his life” after he was wounded in a shooting Thursday night on the South Side, a community activist said.
Shortly before 7 p.m., the boy was shot in the chest inside a home in the 3500 block of South Rhodes, Chicago police said.
He was rushed to Comer Children’s Hospital and listed in critical condition, according to police and Chicago Fire Department officials.
The boy was shot by another child who was playing with a handgun and accidentally fired it, police said.
The child fled and the handgun was recovered at the scene, according to police.
Family members gathered outside Comer declined to comment or provide information about the boy who was shot.
Community activist Andrew Holmes told the Chicago Sun-Times that his condition was stabilized but he was still “fighting for his life.” Holmes said it’s unclear whether the boy was intentionally shot or wounded in an accidental discharge, as one person at the scene claimed.
“We’re just praying for his healing and his recovery, and that the detectives work the streets to find out who the shooter was,” said Holmes. “We’ve got a lot of upset family members [and] upset friends, and we don’t want this to turn into a retaliation, but we’re pitching and pleading for the individual to turn yourself in.”
The shooting happened at the T.K. Lawless Gardens, a low-income housing complex that also houses the offices of Ald. Sophia King (4th) and state Rep. Kam Buckner.
King said she was told the boy was accidentally shot by another 12-year-old on the 22nd floor of the building.
“I think it’s a case of kids playing with a gun,” she said. “That never ends good.”
While King said it’s “very concerning” that a gun may have wound up in the hands of a child, she wants the gun owner to be held accountable.
Buckner, a Democrat whose 101st District covers a large swath of Chicago, said he had only heard scant details about the shooting. But he acknowledged that “it’s been a rough few months over there,” noting that additional police resources had recently been deployed to the area to focus on the crime.
“That area’s been really active, even through the pandemic,” said Buckner.
Nine other children 13 years or younger have been shot so far this year, according to Sun-Times’ records. Less than two weeks ago, a 13-year-old boy and his 14-year-old cousin were both shot while walking in the South Chicago neighborhood