Five-year-old Wisdom Parker had just arrived at his aunt’s home for a barbecue when a blue SUV came racing down the street Wednesday afternoon.
It had apparently sideswiped a car on the Dan Ryan Expressway and, when the car followed it off the interstate, someone in the SUV started firing shots.
The SUV was still being chased down South Michigan Avenue when it struck Wisdom as he stood near his family’s car not far from his 5-month-old brother, according to police and his family.
The boy went to St. Bernard and then Comer Children’s Hospital, where he was treated for a broken leg and arm, according to his aunt Carmelita Fleming.
“It was horrifying,” Fleming said. “I’m just glad my nephew’s OK.”
Chicago police say the SUV and a red sedan were involved in a road-rage incident on the Dan Ryan about 4:45 p.m., and both cars ended up in the 8700 block of South Michigan Avenue.
As they both headed north on Michigan, someone in the SUV fired at the sedan, police said. Shortly afterward, the SUV hit Wisdom as he ran for cover.
Fleming said she didn’t hear the gunshots, but said her family did. Her neighbors rushed outside and dialed 911.
“We didn’t know if someone was shot, we didn’t even know who was hurt at the time because when I come out the house, all I hear is, ‘Get him! Don’t touch him!’ ... So I didn’t know what to think and then I saw blood.”
While the SUV fled, the driver of the sedan stopped and talked with Fleming,
The driver told her the SUV had sideswiped his car on the Dan Ryan. He chased the SUV off the expressway and into Fleming’s neighborhood. That’s when someone from the SUV began shooting.
“He said he wished he would have known to not follow the guy,” Fleming said. “He was ignorant. I’m like, ‘Why would you follow him, though?’ I said. ‘Sir, they’re killin’ people now. Just keep going.’ And I have young sons, and they explain, ‘Mom, things aren’t like they used to be back in your day. These young folks, they’re not thinkin’.”
Wisdom’s family had gone to Fleming’s West Chesterfield home for a barbecue on her back porch. Fleming said her 5-month-old nephew was near the family’s car when Parker was struck.
“We were just hanging out at my house today ... just having a good get together, you know, a good time,” Fleming said.
Fleming said her nephew is a “joy to be around.”
“He’s just the normal 5-year-old boy, he wants to play video games, he wants to be mischievous, he wants to work his mom’s nerve,” she said. “He’s a good little boy.”