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Boy, 14, shot in Loop after buying clothes on Lower Wacker

Shooting scene

A 14-year-old boy was shot Friday on the southwest corner of Wabash Avenue and Wacker Drive. | Matthew Hendrickson/Sun-Times

On a hot summer evening, two teenage brothers and their uncle had just finished buying clothes from a seller on Lower Wacker Drive when they heard shots ring out.

One of the boys, a 14-year-old, was struck in the right leg about 6 p.m. as he was walking up a set of stairs from Lower Wacker to a bustling rush-hour area near Wabash Avenue, Chicago Police said. His condition stabilized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that the shooter was riding a bicycle, which police radio chatter identified as a city Divvy bike.

An hour after the shooting, a bag of clothes was strewn across the ground at the top of the stairs where police tape blocked off the crime scene. Police suspected the clothes had been stolen and re-sold to the trio on Lower Wacker. Officers refused to give the bag back to the 27-year-old man who said he was the boy’s uncle, telling him the clothes would be inventoried.

“We don’t know if these clothes are stolen. We don’t know if these clothes are why he got shot,” an officer told the man.

The brother and uncle of a teenage boy who was shot Friday wait near a crime scene in the Loop. | Matthew Hendrickson/Sun-Times

Thomas Barnes, a Florida native who now lives in Chicago, helped the 15-year-old brother and uncle carry the boy up the stairs to an ambulance. Barnes said he was passing by when he heard five gunshots and yelled out for someone to call 911.

“I just happened to be walking by and I heard pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,” Barnes said, adding that the boy’s injury didn’t appear serious.

Curious crowds and tourists walked by the crime scene asking what happened. A man who said he was a doctor asked if his help was needed, but officers told him the boy was already taken to a hospital.

The busy area is heavily saturated with cameras, according to police, and officers were blocks away when the shooting happened. Police said detectives are reviewing video and have leads on a possible suspect.