CHICAGO — Police are investigating after a 21-month-old boy was wounded in a shooting on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago Tuesday.
The family told WGN that Kayden’s condition is improving following an apparent road rage incident.
Doctors say the next 24-48 hours will be critical.
Witnesses told police they heard shots fired in the 300 block of South Lake Shore Drive around 11 a.m.
Police said the boy was in a car that was driving northbound on Lake Shore Drive at the time of the shooting.
Police said the boy was struck in his right temple. Doctors say the bullet struck the boy’s brain.
“Anytime we have a brain injury, it’s difficult to predict what the course will be, but it’s a very tenuous situation. It can change hourly,” said Dr. Marcelo Malakooti, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Lurie Children’s Hospital. “He’s at a level of critical illness that we’re able to manage.”
The car the child was in then crashed in the 100 block of North Lake Shore Drive.
Police said a female passenger was seen getting out of the vehicle with the child. An “unknown citizen,” who police later described as a “good Samaritan,” transported the woman and child to Northwestern Hospital.
Police said the child was transferred to Lurie’s in critical condition.
We can confirm that this afternoon we received a nearly 2-year-old male child with a serious gunshot wound. The child sustained a bullet wound to his head and he is in very critical condition currently being treated in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. He is requiring full critical care support. We are doing all we can do for this little boy and thank everyone for their concern.Statement from Marcelo Malakooti, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer and Medical Director, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Police believe the shooting was part of a road rage incident.
“At this time, it appears that they are completely unknown to each other and there was a dispute possibly over somebody not letting somebody into a lane of traffic,” said Commander Jake Alderden.
According to police, the incident began at Waldon and Lake Shore Drive and then escalated near Grant Park. Shots were fired for two blocks, police added. The victim’s car crashed on Lake Shore Drive and Monroe.
“I was making a left turn on Monroe and a car rear-ended me,” said a witness who did not wish to be identified.
The witness say while she never heard gun shots, she did witness the aftermath.
“A lady appeared and I didn’t see where she came from but she had a baby and she was trying to get into the car next to me,” the witness said. “She was saying that her baby had been shot.”
A gun was found in the victim’s car but police have not determined if the weapon was fired.
The boy’s grandmother, who did not wish to be identified, confirmed with WGN that the shooting stemmed from a road rage incident that turned violent.
Police have not released a description of the vehicle at this time.
“Unbelievable,” the witness said. “These innocent people. Innocent people are just going about their day and something like this happens.”
Kayden’s family met with Pastor Donovan Price Tuesday.
“Just tears, they weren’t able to speak,” he said. “I just prayed as we all should be doing.”
Initially, Chicago police reported the child was 3-years-old and later clarified the child was 2-years-old. A third update from police now says the child is 21-months-old. The story has been updated.