Two boys, a 4-year-old and a teenager, were shot to death less than a mile apart overnight Wednesday in northwest Indiana, but authorities say the incidents are not related.
The 4-year-old died after being shot early Thursday in his family’s home in East Chicago, according to East Chicago police — just hours after the teen was fatally shot about a mile away.
In the younger child’s death, officers responded a few minutes after midnight to a report of “an assault with a firearm” in the 3500 block of Guthrie Street, according to East Chicago Police Detective Sgt. Terence Fife.
The mother of Garrion Glover Jr. told officers she was asleep in her bedroom with her boyfriend when they heard a noise coming from the living room, Fife said. She got up to see what was going on and found her son lying on the floor bleeding near the couch.
The boy’s uncle, who was sleeping on the couch in the living room at the time, told police he also heard a noise before being awakened by his sister, Fife said.
Someone called 911 and Garrion was taken to Saint Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, where he died at 3:05 a.m., according to the Lake County (Ind.) coroner’s office. An autopsy showed he died of a gunshot wound to the neck, but did not rule on manner of death, such as whether it was a homicide or an accident.
Just over two years earlier, Garrion’s father, Garrion Glover Sr., was fatally shot in the same apartment complex in 2014, family members said on Facebook.
Police would not confirm media reports that cited the boy’s grandmother as saying that Garrion found a gun and accidentally shot himself.
The uncle, 22, was taken into custody on unrelated charges, and was also being questioned about the shooting, according to police, who said it was not clear who owned the gun.
In the earlier death, the 15-year-old boy was fatally shot about a mile to the south.
Officers responding to a disturbance at Columbus Drive and Main Street in East Chicago about 7:23 p.m. were met by several boys, who yelled out that their friend had been shot in a basement, Fife said.
Police ran down the stairs of an abandoned basement apartment and found the teen.
Robert Thompson of East Chicago was pronounced dead at the scene in the 1900 block of East Columbus, according to the coroner’s office. An autopsy showed he died of a gunshot wound to the head, and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the coroner’s office.
School City of East Chicago Supt. Paige McNulty said in a statement: “The hearts and prayers of the staff and students of School City of East Chicago go out to Robert Thompson’s family during their time of grief. This great tragedy is being felt by all in the school, the community and especially with his family.”
East Chicago High School, where Thompson was a student, will provide “supportive services” to students and staff as needed, he wrote.
McNulty also called for an end to the violence.
“We are asking that everyone come together as a community to honor this young’s man’s life and help stop the gun violence that caused this horrific event.”
Authorities do not believe the two cases are related.
Police also said the death of another young boy days earlier in a different building on the same block was unrelated.
A 1-year-old boy was found unresponsive in an apartment building on the 3500 block of Guthrie on Sunday, and was taken to Comers Children’s Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The boy was pronounced dead there at 12:31 p.m.
Fife said that boy passed away from a viral infection, and “there were no signs of foul play or trauma of any sort.”