CHICAGO — A one-month-old child was among seven people shot Thursday night in the city’s Englewood neighborhood, preceding what many fear will be a violent weekend.
“It’s painful, it hurts. It’s really painful,” Charles McKenzie, the baby’s uncle said.
McKenzie got word just after 8:15 p.m. Thursday that his one-month-old niece Terriana Smith was shot in the head while strapped into her car seat near the intersection of 66th Street and Halsted Street in Englewood.
“Three individuals, one armed with an assault rifle, a weapon of war, got out of his vehicle and started firing indiscriminately in every direction,” Chicago police Superintendent David Brown said.
The gunmen got into a black Jeep Cherokee and fled eastbound on 66th Street. Other people wounded in the shooting included a 15-year-old boy and men ranging in age from 23 to 46.
“My heart dropped. I’m fighting every day, gun violence in our community and it home,” McKenzie said.
Just hours earlier, a 9-year-old girl was shot in the head while she was seated in the back of a vehicle in the Grand Crossing neighborhood. A 61-year-old man was also struck in the foot, both victims of gang crossfire.
The 9-year-old, Mi’Kyla James is currently fighting for her life.
Police Supt. David Brown addressed Chicago City Council Friday afternoon, blaming the gun violence on what he feels is a lenient court system that doesn’t hold violent offenders accountable.
Brown said officers have confiscated nearly 6,000 illegal weapons, with officers switching to 12-hour shifts with no days off in preparation for the holiday weekend.
At Comer Children’s Hospital, McKenzie said his niece is doing much better.
“I talked to my sister this morning, the surgery went well. The bullet did not hit her skull, it pierced the top of her head. She did the surgery and she’s great,” McKenzie said.