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12-year-old boy accidentally shot and critically wounded by another child on South Side, police say

The boy was shot in the chest inside a home in the 3500 block of South Rhodes Avenue.

Chicago police work the scene where a 12-year-old boy was shot in the chest, inside an apartment, at a building in the 3500 block of South Rhodes in the Bronzeville neighborhood, Thursday, May 6, 2021. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times
Chicago police work the scene where a 12-year-old boy was shot in the chest inside an apartment at a building in the 3500 block of South Rhodes on Thursday, May 6, 2021.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

A 12-year-old boy was critically wounded when he was accidentally shot by another child Thursday night on the South Side.

The boy was hit in the chest inside a home in the 3500 block of South Rhodes shortly before 7 p.m., Chicago police said. He was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition, according to police and fire officials.

Another child had been handling a gun and accidentally fired it, police said. The child fled and the handgun was recovered at the scene, according to police. The child was later found and released by police, who said no charges were pending “at this time.”

Family members gathered outside Comer declined to comment. Community activist Andrew Holmes told the Chicago Sun-Times that the boy’s condition was stabilized but was still “fighting for his life.”

“We’re just praying for his healing and his recovery,” said Holmes. “We’ve got a lot of upset family members [and] upset friends.”

A 12-year-old boy shot May 6, 2021, in the 3500 block of South Rhodes Avenue.
A 12-year-old boy shot May 6, 2021, in the 3500 block of South Rhodes Avenue.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

The shooting happened at the T.K. Lawless Gardens, a housing complex where Ald. Sophia King (4th) and state Rep. Kam Buckner have offices.

King said she was told the boy was accidentally shot by another 12-year-old on the 22nd floor of the building. “I think it’s a case of kids playing with a gun,” she said. “That never ends good.”

King said it’s “very concerning” that a gun wound up in the hands of a child, and she wants the gun owner to be held accountable.

Buckner, a Democrat whose 101st District covers a large swath of Chicago, said he had only heard scant details about the shooting. But he acknowledged that “it’s been a rough few months over there.”

Nine other children 13 years or younger have been shot so far this year, according to Sun-Times’ records. Less than two weeks ago, a 13-year-old boy and his 14-year-old cousin were shot while walking in the South Chicago neighborhood

Of those nine children, two were killed — 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams, and 11-year-old Ny’Andrea Dyer.