CHICAGO — The mother of a 7-year-old boy wounded on his way to church Sunday spoke out Monday as her son remains hospitalized.
“I’m crying all day. I can’t even function,” Keshawana Barr told WGN News. “I can’t do anything right now.”
Speaking to WGN News, Keshawana Barr stepped away from her son’s bedside at Comer Children’s Hospital for a few moments after a nearly four-hour surgery. Doctors placed rods and plates in his shattered femur, repairing the damage caused by a bullet Sunday as the family was on their way to church.
“When we were pulling up, I just noticed a man going through my grandmother’s car,” Barr said.
Barr’s grandmother works at Universal Community Missionary Baptist Church, so she says her family was unnerved by what they saw.
“We just both assumed it was somebody grabbing something out of her car,” Barr said. “We didn’t know he was robbing the car.”
Barr said they turned around to park and the man made a move.
“He pulled out this really big gun and just started shooting at our car,” she said. “I just saw a whole bunch of blood.”
Her 7-year-old son, Legend, was hit in the thigh. Barr’s husband, mom, and other children – ages six, three, and one – were in the car but not hurt.
“Everybody was screaming and crying,” the grieving mother said. “I instantly called 911 on one phone and my grandmother, who was inside the church, on my other phone and panicked and freaked out from there.”
Barr’s husband was behind the wheel and drove the family a half mile to Roseland Community Hospital. The family says no one got out of their car until then. But police tell a different version of events leading up to the shooting.
“They attempted to follow this individual. Once he left the car, he turned and opened fire,” said Deputy Chief Larry Snelling.
Officers eventually arrested the suspect and said charges are pending.
“Nobody was coming after him. Nobody even knew what he was doing,” Barr said.
Barr says while at the hospital, she spent much of the day calling the police for updates about the shooting suspect, hoping justice is served.
“I want to make sure he gets the time he needs to be getting for shooting a 7-year-old,” Barr said.
The mother said it could be a year before her son’s leg is healed. Additionally, it’ll be weeks before he can return to the second grade. The Barr family has started a GoFundMe to help with their mounting expense.