CHICAGO – Police are searching for the gunman who fatally shot a 2-year-old boy in the Hermosa neighborhood Saturday night.
Police said the boy, identified as Julien Gonzalez, was standing next to an 18-year-old on the 2200 block of North Kilbourn Avenue around 10:15 p.m. when a fight broke out in a nearby alley. Someone fired shots and Julien and the 18-year-old were hit.
Julie was shot in the neck and taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, where he was later pronounced dead. The 18-year-old was shot in the leg and taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital.
A Chicago police roll call was held in the area where the boy was shot. It was organized by 36th Ward Ald. Gilbert Villegas as a way to promote relations between police and the people they serve.
“I was sick that a 2-year-old’s life was taken for nonsense,” the alderman said. “We got to get together and galvanize.”
A votive candle and a baby blue themed cross marks the spot where Julien was hit.
Carlos Vega with Build Chicago, a youth organization that serves the neighborhood, brought his grandson to the roll call.
“There’s so much violence that we’re having our babies’ futures destroyed,” Vega said.
As the evening drew to a close and people were about to head home, the message repeated again: If you see something, say something.
“We have to break the code of silence. If no one is willing to speak, they will commit the same violence over and over again,” one man at the gathering said.
The alderman said the family was too grief-stricken to attend the gathering.
No one is in custody. Anyone with information is asked to contact authorities.