CHICAGO — Friends and family were celebrating a birthday and a baby shower in front of a West Englewood home Saturday when someone inside a passing SUV fired into the crowd, wounding two children and four adults.
People were gathered outside a house near 63rd and Seeley around 6:30 p.m. Saturday when witnesses say a red Chevy Equinox drove down 64th street, and someone inside shot at the group.
An 8-year-old boy was hit in the chest and back, and a 10-year-old girl was wounded in the shin. A 29-year-old woman was shot in the shoulder and chest, and three other adults ranging in age from 23 to 42 were also shot.
"She's screaming, people across the street are screaming, kids are running around," witness Lamon Reccord said. "This little boy and his mom is putting pressure on his chest from the gunshot wound to his chest."
As police arrived, they performed CPR on the 8-year-old boy, who suffered at least one collapsed lung. Paramedics continued life-saving efforts as they rushed him to Comer Children's Hospital, applying a needle decompression procedure in the ambulance.
"To see that little boy literally on the ground in front of my feet, fighting for his life, it's so traumatizing," community activist Lamon Reccord said.
People from the baby shower, some covered in blood, made their way over to Comer Children's Hospital. By Sunday morning, both the boy and the girl shot in the shin were stabilized, as were three of the adult victims. The 29-year-old woman shot in the chest is still in critical condition at Christ Hospital.
The boy's mother posted an update on social media Sunday night thanking the community for their support and prayers, and saying her son is not out of the woods yet but that she sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
Police believe the shooting could have been related to ongoing gang violence in the neighborhood. CPD Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Sunday that based on victim profiles, detectives suspect the shooting was retaliation for an earlier incident.
Royal Priest Meshach said it's a, "tragedy that the young people in the neighborhood are killing each other."
Detectives said they received conflicting information from witnesses at the scene, but about four men were believed to be inside the SUV at the time of the shooting.
"It's senseless they have a right to gather together and to congregate you don't have the right to discharge that weapon at anybody," victim's advocate Andrew Holmes said.
While visiting the kids at Comer Children's Hospital Sunday morning, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he knows the family of the 8-year-old boy, and had given his brother a bike at a back to school event. Emanuel called on the community to help police hold the shooter or shooters accountable.
"I'm sick as everyone else in this city, sick and tired," Emanuel said. "You have nothing but a bunch of gang bangers thinking our streets are their firing range."
Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot said she's "heartbroken" about the incident on Twitter.
"No parent should fear their child's safety. We must stop the epidemic of gun violence in our city," Lightfoot wrote.
The investigation is ongoing. No one is in custody at this time.