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11-year-old girl seriously wounded in West Pullman: ‘We can’t really let our kids come out and play’

The drive-by shooting happened about 9 p.m. near 117th Place and Michigan Avenue.

Chicago police work the scene where an 11-year-old girl was shot in the 11700 block of South Michigan late Sunday.
Chicago police work the scene where an 11-year-old girl was shot in the 11700 block of South Michigan late Sunday.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Ashley Santiago was enjoying the night breeze in front of her home on the Far South Side Sunday night when she saw a woman walking down Michigan Avenue with her kids.

Then she heard gunshots.

“They just went off. I ducked down in my car and I was like, ‘That’s not fireworks,’ ” Santiago said. “I heard someone got shot, and I thought, ‘I hope it’s not the lady that I just seen with the kids.’ ”

An 11-year-old girl sitting in a car down the street was hit in the back when someone in a red car opened fire around 9 p.m. in the 11700 block of South Michigan Avenue in the West Pullman neighborhood.

Her family drove her to Roseland Community Hospital, where she was listed in serious condition. The girl was among more than 50 people hit by gunfire over the weekend across Chicago, one of the more violent this year.

Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said Monday that the girl was visiting from out of town. “She was sitting in a car when another car drove by, gunshots were fired and she was struck,” he said.

Deenihan said no one was in custody, and detectives were looking for witnesses and video.

At the scene Sunday night, officers taped off the intersection of 117th place and Michigan Avenue and placed a handful of evidence markers in the road.

Santiago’s aunt, Alexandra Santiago, said she heard the shots from inside their home. She told her young children to get away from the windows and get on the floor.

The women say shootings in the area are “an everyday thing, without fail. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is.”

Alexandra Santiago said the violence in the area concerns her greatly, not only for herself, but for her loved ones.

“I worry for my mom. When I step out or go to work, I worry for myself. These are our windows right here,” she said. “We’re all the time throwing ourselves down, saying, ‘Go into the other room, go into the dining room.’ ”

The two mothers lamented not being able to let their children out to play whenever they want.

“We can’t really let our kids come out and come play because stuff like this is happening,” Ashley Santiago said.

No one was in custody.