A 21-month-old boy was critically injured in what authorities are calling a “road rage” shooting on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, just steps away from the city’s tourist landmarks.
The toddler was shot while riding in a vehicle near Grant Park, on the city’s lakefront.
“The shooting happened just after 11 a.m. following a road rage incident near East Waldron and Lake Shore Drive, authorities said. Shots were fired for at least two blocks before the vehicle carrying the child crashed near Monroe,” NBC’s Chicago affiliate reported. “Police said a person of interest is currently being questioned in the shooting but did not release further information about a suspect, suspects or any vehicles that may have been involved.”
A good samaritan stopped to help the family trapped in the vehicle and transported both parents and the wounded child to nearby Northwestern Hospital. The child was later transported to Lurie Children’s Hospital.
The child is reported to have a brain injury and remains in critical condition. Doctors described the boy’s status, Tuesday evening, as “grave.”
“He’s undergoing a number of treatments and we’re managing his illness right now, so it’s really hard to predict right now what will happen,” Dr. Marcelo Malakooti, associate chief medical officer with Lurie Children’s Hospital, told Chicago’s ABC news station. “Any time we have brain injury, it’s very hard to predict exactly what the course will be, but it’s a very tenuous situation. It can change hourly for us, but luckily he’s in a location where we can respond to any other emergencies if we have to.”
The child is just the latest in a string of Chicago juveniles wounded or killed amid an ongoing spike in gun violence in the city.
Last summer, during a shocking wave of gun violence that paralyzed the city’s south and west side, six children ten years and younger were killed, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Three were killed riding in a car with parents, executed by enemies gunning for the car owners,” the outlet reported last summer. “Two were killed playing not far from the front doors of their homes. One was inside her home. She was watching television when gang member bullets found her.”
By the end of the summer, 38 juveniles were killed or wounded.
Tuesday’s horrific act of violence appears to be random, according to Chicago Police.
“There was a dispute possibly over not letting somebody into a lane of traffic,” police officials told local media.
“Authorities said a weapon was recovered from someone who was inside the vehicle the child was riding in, but it remained unclear if that weapon was used,” NBC 5 Chicago noted.
As The Daily Wire reported previously, Chicago’s streak of violence shows no signs of abating. Although carjackings are now down after hitting a high during the first two months of the year, shootings and homicides spiked again in March as the weather warmed.
“For 2021, there were 233 shooting incidents and 298 shooting victims, police data show,” CNN said in a report released Monday. “In March of 2020, there were 146 shootings and 175 victims; in March 2019 there were 136 shooting incidents and 165 victims; and in 2018 there were also 136 shootings, with 151 victims.”
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