A 1-month-old girl and six other people were hit by gunfire in Englewood Thursday night when three gunmen jumped from a black Jeep Cherokee and began firing up and down the street.
The attack came just days after two mass shootings killed two women and injured 15 other people in Chicago. At least 24 shootings across the city this year have wounded four or more people, according to a Sun-Times analysis.
The Englewood attack occurred around 8:15 p.m. when three gunmen “began shooting in several directions” in the 6500 block of South Halsted Street, according to Chicago police.
The three jumped back into the Jeep and sped off down 66th Street, police said. No one was in custody.
The baby was shot in the head and taken in critical condition to St. Bernard Hospital, then transferred to Comer Children’s Hospital, according to police and a Chicago Fire Department spokesman.
Charles McKenzie, the baby’s uncle, said Friday morning that she was “doing pretty good” after undergoing surgery and was able to breathe on her own.
McKenzie said the bullet did not pierce her skull. The car seat she was strapped into had several bullet holes in it, he said.
A violence prevention activist, McKenzie said he got several calls from the community about the mass shooting. He was devastated to learn a loved one was among the wounded. “They said your niece was shot, I’m like my niece? I couldn’t believe it.
“It’s hurtful, it’s painful,” he said. “To know that I’m out here serving and protecting the community and fighting against gun violence every day and it ends up my people that’s afflicted from this gun violence.”
McKenzie said the family was holding up, and his sister thanks everyone for their prayers and calls.
A man who manages a store near the scene of the shooting said he knows the baby’s family. He described them as “just regular everyday people” who were “hanging out near their car parked outside” when the gunmen pulled up.
The man said the baby’s father was also among those shot.
“He’s a good guy,” said the man, who did not want his name used. “All he’s trying to do is take care of his family. He doesn’t do anything stupid or anything like that. Unfortunately these guys came out of nowhere.
“This area has been like this forever,” the man said. “This is like an ongoing thing that’s been going on for years.”
Outside the emergency room Thursday night, an SUV with at least three bullet holes was parked near the entrance. Police spokesman Tom Ahern said the baby was strapped into a car seat when she was shot.
As the child clung to life, a group of people at the hospital held a prayer circle and embraced each other. Community activist Andrew Holmes said the family was “upset and trying to find out information about the baby.”
“The baby’s shot, and they want the shooter to either come forward or somebody to turn them in,” Holmes said.
The others shot:
- A 15-year-old boy struck in the arm and taken to St. Bernard Hospital;
- A 46-year-old man shot in the leg and also taken to St. Bernard;
- A 23-year-old man hit in the leg and transported to Stroger Hospital;
- A 30-year-old man shot in the arm and brought to Stroger;
- A 36-year-old man wounded in the buttocks and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center;
- A 32-year-old man who suffered a graze wound to the hip and refused medical treatment.
They were all in good condition, police said.
Halsted was closed off for blocks as police investigated. At the scene, dozens of shell casings littered the ground near Spirits Beverage Depot at 6601 S. Halsted St.
Ahern told reporters the attack may have been captured on surveillance video.
The shooting happened less than six hours after a 9-year-old girl was shot in the head in another South Side shooting that also wounded a 61-year-old man. She was also in critical condition at Comer, police said.
The Sun-Times reported last month that more children 15 or younger have been shot this year than this time last year.