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CHICAGO — A 13-year-old boy is recovering in the hospital and has opened his eyes according to a family member after being shot in the head on the city’s Lower West Side Tuesday.

The shooting happened around 10:30 p.m. on the 1800 block of West 21st Place. Family members told WGN News that relatives were gathering in the back of a home when someone heard fireworks.

A distinct sound of gunshots followed, family members added.

Everyone hit the ground for cover, but the family said a bullet struck the 13-year-old boy. The boy was shot in the right temple and transported to Stroger Hospital in critical condition.

One of the boy’s cousins, a 21-year-old with a concealed carry license, fired back at the attackers. No one was struck, however.

Officers did try to stop a suspicious vehicle in the area. Hinsdale officers spiked the car and arrested three people inside, quickly handing them over to CPD. It is unclear, however, if the trio is among those who opened fire.

“We don’t have enough information to say these are defendants in this case,” said Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan. “We need a lot of help in this case so far so anyone who can come forward the detectives are back out there today trying to gather more video and evidence.”

No one is in custody. Area Three Detectives are investigating and anyone with information may leave an anonymous tip at

If you would like to make a donation, family members have set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the boy’s medical expenses.