4-year-old girl ‘doing fine’ a day after being shot in the head in West Englewood, grandfather says

SHARE 4-year-old girl ‘doing fine’ a day after being shot in the head in West Englewood, grandfather says
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Jacele Johnson | Provided photo

A 4-year-old South Side girl whose mother was about to move her family to Minneapolis to escape the violence in Chicago was “doing fine” a day after being shot in the head in a drive-by shooting outside a prom party Friday night in West Englewood, her grandfather said Saturday night.

“She wakes up, and … she knows who’s in the room,” said Marvin Gresham, little Jacele Johnson’s grandfather. “She looks at you, and she moves.

“We’re being told that she’s stable and her vitals are looking really good,” he said. “We’re just hoping for her to be all right.”

Jacele had no swelling in the brain, according to her aunt, Marcella Gresham — a good sign, but she remained at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital, where she underwent surgery.

Jacele’s mother, Trennetta Gresham, 29, had packed up Friday night to move Jacele and her two siblings to Minneapolis to escape the violence in Chicago.

“My son is 10,” said Trennetta Gresham, who also has a 7-year-old daughter. “I told myself I can’t raise him here. I was more afraid for him than my girls. I didn’t want to raise him here.”

Her family had been staying at her mother’s house on the South Side for about three months. She had just come back to Chicago from Minnesota and said she had signed a lease for a home in Minneapolis after her plans to open a salon and day-care center in Chicago didn’t work out. The family was set to move Tuesday.

After packing Friday, she stopped by the home of a relative, a senior at Hyde Park Academy High School, to help send her off to her high school prom.

Gresham said after arriving at the pre-prom party in the 7000 block of South Justine, one of her friends took her car without her permission and came back about half an hour later.

About 10 minutes after that, around 8 p.m. Friday, another car pulled up, and someone inside opened fire, Gresham said.

“Jacele saw the car pull up and jumped inside because she’s a little girl and wanted to be in the car,” the mother said. “Then, the other car comes out of nowhere, and someone starts shooting.

“I was there and held my baby in my hands.”

Romare Wilson, 17, the little girl’s cousin, and a 15-year-old girl standing on a sidewalk nearby alsowere shot and wounded.

Wilson suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and a graze wound to his neck and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he underwent surgery, Marvin Gresham said. He is expected to be released from the hospital as early as Sunday.

The teenage girl, struck in the forehead by a stray bullet, according to the police, was being treated at Stroger Hospital.

The police said no one was in custody Saturday night.

Earlier Saturday, Trennetta Gresham, dressed in hospital scrubs, with tears streaming down her face, tried to take courage from the fact that her daughter was responsive following surgery.

“She’s kicking and moving,” Gresham said.

She called Jacele her “bundle of joy.”

“She loves music, dances to rap, loves her brother and sister to death,” her mother said. “She’s my best friend. I love all my kids, but I have a special relationship with her.”

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Trennetta Gresham and her daughter, Jacele Johnson | Family photo


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