Four-year-old Jacele Johnson, shot in the head last week on the South Side, kept quiet when her mother playfully asked her to say something to reporters Monday outside Comer Children’s Hospital, minutes before the two would be driven to Minnesota in an ambulance.
Instead, with a somber face, Jacele waved goodbye a few times.
Jacele, shot on May 22 outside a prom party, was being released to a Minnesota hospital.
Jacele Johnson was shot in the head in West Englewood last month. | Provided
The last week had been traumatizing, the girl’s mother, 29-year-old Trennetta Gresham, told reporters before the ambulance left at 8:30 a.m. But she added that Jacele is a “fighter.”
“I never gave up on her, and she never gave up on me,” Gresham said.
About 8 p.m. May 22, Jacele was sitting in a car with her 17-year-old cousin when both were wounded in a drive-by shooting outside a prom party in the 7000 block of South Justine, authorities said. A 15-year-old girl standing outside was also wounded.
Jacele was initially admitted to Comer in critical condition, authorities said. She was upgraded to fair condition three days later.
“She wakes up, and . . . she knows who’s in the room,” Jacele’s grandfather Marvin Gresham said the day after the attack. “She looks at you, and she moves. . . . We’re just hoping for her to be all right.”
Jacele had no swelling in the brain, according to her aunt, Marcella Gresham. Though that was a good sign, she remained at Comer, where she underwent surgery.
She will undergo further treatment at an unspecified hospital in Minnesota.
Gresham had been planning to move her family to Minneapolis to escape the violence in Chicago. Her family had been staying at her mother’s house on the South Side for about three months. Jacele’s mother had recently come back to Chicago from Minnesota, hoping toopen a salon and day care center in Chicago. But when that didn’t work out,she signed a lease for a home in Minneapolis.
On Monday, Gresham thanked the city, the “angels at Comer” and those who prayed for her family.
“I just want to tell everyone to stop the violence,” Gresham said. “Stop killing our children and our city, please.”
Jacele Johnson is released from Comer Children’s Hospital. | Brian Jackson/For the Chicago Sun-Times