CHICAGO — A 7-year-old boy has died after being hit by a stray bullet while inside his home on the city’s West Side.
Police believe the boy, identified by family members as Akeem Briscoe, was an innocent bystander.
Authorities responded to reports of a person shot in the 2600 block of West Potomac Avenue around 8:22 p.m. Wednesday, when they found the 7-year-old boy inside a residence with a gunshot wound to his abdomen.
According to police, a family member told officers the boy was in the bathroom washing his hands when a stray bullet traveled through a window and hit the child.
The gunfire came from an alleyway behind the home, police said. Multiple shell casings were found.
The boy was taken to Stroger Hospital and underwent surgery late Wednesday night, but he later died. The family had recently lost the boy’s father after having open heart surgery.
Terribia Misters, the boy’s uncle, says the family is doing their best to keep it together.
“My last words to him was, ‘Nephew, you do your homework.'”
Misters said his heart broke when he learned about his nephew’s passing.
“I’m not feeling too good,” he said. “It hurts.”
Violence prevention organizations on Thursday canvassed the neighborhood where the shooting occurred, hoping to assist the police in their search for the person(s) responsible.
“We hope that the impact is preventing another incident in the community and so we will spend the next 24-48 hours canvassing the neighborhood, making sure that we have conversations with representing gangs in the neighborhood so that we can demand peace,” said Jessie Fuentes, the director of Violence Prevention and Intervention for the Puerto Rican Cultural Center.
The organization has offered to help Akeem’s family.
“We have therapists on-site, street interventionists on site to make sure the kids and the family have the social and emotional services needed in a moment like this,” Fuentes said.
Police have no one in custody in the shooting. A $2,000 reward is being offered to anyone with information that may lead to an arrest.
If you or someone you know has information regarding this incident, you can leave an anonymous tip at cpdtip.com.