A 7-year-old boy killed in a Humboldt Park shooting was washing his hands inside a bathroom in his home when he was struck by an errant bullet, according to Chicago police.
The boy was one of two juveniles killed in separate shootings in Chicago Wednesday night.
“Whether a child is at home getting ready for bed or a teen is outside simply walking down the street, they should be safe,” Police Superintendent David Brown said Thursday, “and their parents shouldn’t think twice about their safety. Our kids deserve to be carefree in our city.”
Officers responded to a report of shots fired in the 2600 block of West Potomac Avenue just before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, and found the boy inside a residence with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
The child was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition and underwent surgery, but police said he later died of his injuries.
“The story is that the child was inside washing his hands when an errant bullet came through the window and struck him one time in the abdomen,” CPD Deputy Chief Ronald Pontecore said during a press conference Wednesday night.
Pontecore said it appeared the shot was fired from an alley behind the home, where investigators located multiple spent shell casings. Police don’t believe anyone in the boy’s home was an intended target.
“Any person that’s shot in the city, it’s tragic,” Pontecore said. “When it’s a young child like this, an innocent child, you know, allegedly under the safety of their own home, it’s entirely tragic.”
No one is currently in custody and Brown on Thursday said the investigation remains ongoing.
About 20 minutes after that shooting, a 15-year-old boy was fatally shot in a separate incident in Greater Grand Crossing.
According to police, the victim was walking outside in the 7700 block of South Vernon Avenue when he was shot at by an unidentified offender traveling in a white Jeep. The boy was struck multiple times in the leg and once in his torso.
He later died after being taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center. Police do not have anyone in custody for this shooting either.
“Losing young people to gun violence rips us all apart,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday afternoon. “We have to address this tragic loss of life.”
Lightfoot urged any community members with knowledge about these shootings to come forward and help police solve the homicides.
Anyone with information on either shooting can submit a tip anonymously to the CPD at cpdtip.com or by calling 833-408-0069.
“In each of these, someone knows who is responsible for these heinous crimes. This didn’t happen in a vacuum,” she said. “There are people out there right now within the sound of my voice who know exactly what happened. You must — must — come forward.”