Parents of 5-year-old boy shot in the head seek answers, action

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CHICAGO — The parents of a 5-year-old boy who was shot in West Roseland are speaking out and demanding answers.

The parents of 5-year-old Clareon Williams have been at their son’s bedside at Comer Children’s Hospital since Monday night. The little boy was shot in the head by a stray bullet while in his apartment on the 200 block of West 115th Street around 7:30 p.m. Monday.

The boy was sitting on the couch with his father playing on his iPad when he was struck.

“I don’t come outside,” Gwendolyn Dunmars, Clareon’s mother, said, “I don’t let my baby play in the back yard with these people. He can’t do anything but play in my front room.”

His mother said she doesn’t know who did it or the reason for it. But she said whoever did it shot a very special little boy who didn’t do anything to anyone.

Earlier this week, Chicago police released surveillance video of the SUV they believe was involved in the drive-by shooting. In the video, the shooter can be seen hanging out of the front passenger window.

As police try to hunt them down, doctors performed surgery to remove a bullet and relieve pressure from Clareon’s brain, and now he is in a medically induced coma.

“All we’re doing is waiting for the swelling to come down,” Clarance Williams, the boy’s father, said. “He moves sometimes when we talk to him we’re waiting for the swelling to go down.”

As his parents wait for justice, elected leaders are calling on the governor to take action.

“We’ve been calling on Governor JB Pritzker since June to recognize the problem we see in the Black community as a pandemic itself,” State Rep. Lashawn Ford, 8th District, said. “That’s violence to treat it as a disease.”

More than a year ago, state lawmakers unanimously passed House Bill 0433, but the governor has yet to sign it. It would designate violence as a disease and treat it as a public health crisis, providing funding for affected communities.

“This happened to an innocent child and that baby happened to be mine,” Dunmars said.

The family of the boy is hoping for answers and action as they wait for Clareon to heal. They said he loves superheroes, especially Spider-Man. His mother hopes they catch who shot him soon.

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