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CHICAGO — It’s been a violent year in Chicago. And increasingly it is children who are getting shot.

WGN Investigates took an in-depth look at the lasting legacy of our violent streets.

We heard from children who had been wounded, including a 14-year-old boy who suffered a serious brain injury and is relearning how to walk.

And parents whose lives have been forever changed.

“It makes me angry because it’s so stupid,” Miranda Randle-McGruder said.

Randle-McGruder’s 9-year-old son was injured in a drive-by shooting and is now partially paralyzed.

“You’re stealing these kids future,” she said.

In all, there has been more than 2,100 kids and teenagers shot and another 275 killed in Chicago since 2015, according to data obtained from Chicago Police.

But this year stands out as one of the most dangerous and deadly. There were 291 kids shot and 41 killed through the end of September, more than in all of last year. 

Arne Duncan is the former head of Chicago Public Schools and co-founder of Chicago CRED, an anti-violence organization.

“This year has been horrific for the city,” he said.

And even more so for our youngest children, those age 12 and younger.

A total of 38 have been shot and six killed, the highest numbers in at least the last six years.

“Very naively when we moved to [Washington] D.C. in 2009, I thought things were rock bottom in Chicago,” Duncan said. “It’s been a brutal time.”

Experts say the pandemic is partly to blame.

Tamar Manasseh is the founder and president of nonprofit Mothers Against Senseless Killing.

“There’s no jobs,” Manasseh said. “People are getting laid off. Kids are out of school.”

Factor in the guns that flood Chicago’s streets and Manasseh said, “That’s a recipe for disaster.”