Family seeking answers after off-duty firefighter shot in West Pullman drive-by shooting

Chicago Crime

First responder among 6 shot leaving party Saturday night

CHICAGO — An off-duty Chicago firefighter injured in a West Pullman shooting Saturday night, that left one person dead and others injured, remains hospitalized, according to family members.

The father of five was shot in the face near the intersection of E. Kensington and S. Prairie Ave. as he left a birthday party, police said.

The first responder was the victim of a drive-by shooting.

Loved ones told WGN that Timothy Eiland has been responsive to his name and can blink eyes. However, there is still a long road to recovery, and the family is asking the public for prayers and any information about the shooting.

Eiland’s sister, Elishama Wright, told WGN her brother has always wanted to serve others.

When Timothy Eiland graduated in 2019, his father – a retired fire captain – welcomed him to the Chicago Fire Department family. 

“He was crying because he always wanted to make my dad proud,” Wright said. “And my father said, ‘I’m proud of you,’ you know being able to pass on the torch.”

In addition to her brother being wounded in the shooting, Wright says her 15-year-old daughter was also shot. The teenager suffered a gunshot wound to the arm. She was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital and is now in fair condition.

Wright’s brother continues to fight for his life.

“My brother laying on the ground, I can’t get that picture out of my head,” she said. “It was just the craziest, so crazy.” 

The family had been celebrating a surprise birthday party for their nephew. Around 10 p.m., the group walked to their cars when someone drove by and fired into the crowd. 

“We were talking, telling each other we love each other before we left, you know what family do. Then the next thing I know, I heard what sounded like firecrackers, but it wasn’t,” Wright said.

“I saw my brother laying on the ground, everybody running,” she added.

Police say a 42-year-old woman, who has not yet been identified, died from her wounds. Three other men, age 22, 31 and 38, were also shot. All three are considered to be in fair condition.

Amid the chaotic scene, Wright said she looked for her kids and checked on her brother’s condition.

“I touched him to see if he had a pulse and it was faint,” Wright said.

While Eiland, who works at the Chicago Firehouse at 95th and Ashland, continues to fight for his life, his family is pleading with the public to do the right thing. 

“Please, if you know anything, please, please call the authorities. Tell someone. Please help,” Wright begged. “Pray for my brother. Pray for my daughter. Pray for the other people who got shot. Pray for Chicago.” 

No one is in custody in this shooting.

Eiland is one of 55 people who were injured in shootings over the weekend, with five people dying from their injuries. On Sunday alone, 18 shootings took place between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.

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