A 9-year-old girl was critically wounded in a shooting that also left a man hurt near the border of the Grand Crossing and Chatham neighborhoods on the South Side Thursday.
They were in the 800 block of East 79th Street when a car approached and someone inside opened fire about 2:45 p.m., Chicago police said.
The girl was struck in the head and taken to Comer Children’s hospital in critical condition, police said. The man was shot in the foot and was in good condition at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
No arrests have been reported.
Later Thursday, a woman who identified herself as the girl’s aunt was among a few dozen people outside University of Chicago’s emergency room. She wouldn’t provide any details of the attack but claimed officials aren’t doing enough to tamp down the violence in the city.
“They can’t be if every time you turn on the news somebody’s getting shot,” said the aunt, who declined to identify herself or name the wounded girl. She described her as a 10-year-old.
The aunt claimed the mayor and police officials “know what’s going on in these blocks.”
“They know the gang bangers,” she added. “They know the people that’s getting these guns and stuff, and they know the areas.”
Still, she scoffed after learning that Chicago Police Supt. David Brown told reporters that the young girl was caught “in the crossfire of two gangs going at it.”
“He ain’t even been out here, so how’s he know?” she said.
Asked Thursday about the police department’s plan for keeping children safe over the historically violent July 4th weekend, Brown side-stepped the question but broadly referenced the city’s targeted summer safety strategy. He acknowledged, however, that children have often become victims of gang violence.
“There’s a significant rise in young people, children, being shot here and everywhere in the country, but here specifically,” he said during a news conference he had called about this year’s violence. “[They’re] likely not the target, though. Likely an innocent bystander.”
Earlier Thursday, an 8-year-old girl was wounded in a triple shooting that left a woman dead in Roseland on the Far South Side. The girl was struck in the arm and was in good condition at Roseland Community Hospital.
The Sun-Times reported last month that more children 15 or younger have been shot this year than this time last year.