Crime

Boy, 2, killed in Hermosa shooting that also wounds 18-year-old man

A toddler fatally shot Saturday night in the Hermosa neighborhood on the Northwest Side has the grim distinction of being the youngest person to be killed by gun violence in the city this year.

At 10:17 p.m., 2-year-old Julien Gonzalez and an 18-year-old man were standing near an alley in the 2200 block of North Kilbourn Avenue when shots were fired from the street’s end, according to Chicago police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Just before the shooting, two females were fighting in the alley between Kilbourn and Kenneth avenues when the shots were fired in their direction, police said.

The toddler was struck in the neck and taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:39 p.m., authorities said. He lived in the Clearing neighborhood on the Southwest Side. The 18-year-old was shot in his left leg and taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where his condition was stabilized.

Gonzalez was the youngest person to be fatally shot in the city this year, according to Sun-Times records. Previously, 10-year-old twins who were shot to death by their father before he turned the gun on himself at their West Rogers Park home were the youngest victims.

Jane Jara-Martinez, a member of the board of directors of the Hermosa Neighborhood Association, said the corner on which the shooting occurred has proven to be the exception in a usually peaceful neighborhood over the past few months.

Police and local officials knew about the situation on the corner, according to Jara-Martinez. But to resolve the problems, the people living around the corner need to make their presence known, Jara-Martinez said.

“Start watering your lawn when you see [trouble-makers on the corner],” Jara-Martinez said. “Let them know it’s your street, too.”

Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) will host a “roll call” of neighborhood residents, police and aldermen of nearby wards near the shooting at 6 p.m. Monday as part of an effort to “stand unified and take back our streets,” Jara-Martinez said.

Police investigate a shooting that happened late Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in the 2200 block of North Kilbourn Avenue in Chicago. | Justin Jackson/ Sun-Times

Contributing: Alice Yin