A 1-year-old boy was killed and his mother wounded in a shooting Saturday afternoon in Englewood.
The 22-year-old mother and her child were driving home from a laundromat just after 2 p.m. on Halsted Street when another car pulled alongside them near 60th Street, police said.
As the cars drove together, someone in the other vehicle fired seven to eight shots into the passenger’s side of the mother’s car, police said.
The little boy was struck once in the chest as he sat in a rear car seat, and the mother suffered a graze wound to her head, according to police.
The mother drove to nearby St. Bernard Hospital, where the child was pronounced dead, police said. The boy would have turned two in a few months.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office identified the boy as Sincere A. Gaston, of South Chicago. An autopsy ruled his death a homicide, saying he died of a gunshot wound to the chest.
“This is happening far too often,” CPD Chief of Operations Fred Waller said at a news conference outside the Englewood District police station hours later. “When is this going to stop? When are we gonna say enough is enough?”
Waller said that judging by the number of bullet holes in the car, the shooting did not appear to be random.
Waller noted he made a similar announcement only a week ago when a 3-year-old boy who was riding in a car with his father in Austin was shot and killed when someone opened fire at them from another car driving behind.
Waller said he was confident arrests would be made in both cases.
“We’ll catch the person that killed that 3-year-old. We’ll catch the person who killed this kid,” Waller said. “That’s not going to bring that kid back and that’s not going to satisfy that family.”
As she did last Saturday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed outrage at the shooting, as well as another hours earlier Saturday when a 17-year-old was killed in Humboldt Park.
“The pain of losing a child never goes away. Today, we lost more young people to the gun violence epidemic: a 17-year-old in Humboldt Park and a 1-year-old in Englewood. As a mother, I am tired of the funerals. I am tired of burying our children,” Lightfoot said on Twitter.
Lightfoot asked that anyone with information to call police, even anonymously, to bring those responsible to justice.
“It’s on all of us to double down on our all-hands-on-deck public safety efforts with police officers, street outreach teams, trauma support workers, community and faith-based partners. We must ask ourselves: “What are we each doing to make this a season of bounty, not tragedy?” Lightfoot said.
CPD Supt. David Brown likewise said it would take a citywide effort to combat gun violence.
“This is not just a problem that Englewood needs to solve,” Brown said in a statement. “This is not just a problem on the South Side or the West Side. We cannot compartmentalize the violence that is tearing families and communities apart.”
Activist and former mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green said he was offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter of the 1-year-old boy.
“My youngest is 1 years old. I couldn’t imagine this happening to my kids. I’m hurt. Very very hurt,” Green wrote on Twitter to announce the reward.
Standing outside the hospital, Pastor Donovan Price said everyone in the city should consider the boy killed to be their own child.
“How many moms were in their cars going to the laundromat on a Saturday morning with their children?” he questioned. “Now, a child is dead that didn’t make it to 2.”
Last weekend, 12 minors were among 104 people shot in citywide gun violence that left 15 people dead. In addition to the 3-year-old, the deaths also included a 13-year-old girl struck by a stay bullet in Austin and two teenage boys gunned down in South Chicago.