Toddler critically injured in road rage shooting on Lake Shore Drive near Grant Park

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Police were questioning a person of interest on Tuesday evening after a one-year-old boy was shot in the head in an apparent road rage incident late Tuesday morning on Lake Shore Drive near Grant Park, reports said. Chicago police.

The boy suffered a brain injury and was in Lurie Children’s Hospital in critical condition, according to Dr Marcelo Malakooti, ​​medical director of the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit. He needs full intensive care support and is on a ventilator.

“It’s really hard to predict right now what’s going to happen,” Dr Malakooti said. “It’s a very precarious situation, it can change from hour to hour.”

Dr Malakooti said his team will “do everything we can for this little boy and thank everyone for their concern”.

Clifton Marvel, the boy’s great-grandfather, told WGN late Tuesday night outside the hospital that “it looks like he’ll be fine.”

“The bullet went in and out,” Marvel told WGN. “He’s been in surgery. … You hear all the violence, but it hit home.

Police said Tuesday evening that detectives in Area Three were interviewing a person in connection with the shooting.

A dispute over a car not leaving another car in a traffic lane around 11 a.m. on northbound Lake Shore Drive just south of Soldier Field apparently led to the shooting, Cmdr of the Chicago police. Jake Alderden said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Both cars continued north and filming began on Lake Shore Drive, just west of the Shedd Aquarium. Bullet casings were recovered from a two-block stretch as cars headed north, he said.

The vehicle the child was in crashed at Monroe Street and Lake Shore Drive, near the Chicago Yacht Club and Maggie Daley Park.

A Good Samaritan in a passing Tesla saw the wrecked car and drove the boy and a male and female occupant to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The boy, who was shot in the temple, was later transferred to Lurie, police said.

Detectives “have witnesses and a suspect … and are actively pursuing the other car involved,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday.

There was early confusion over the child’s exact age; a hospital statement described him as “almost 2” years old.

A handgun was recovered from an occupant of the crashed vehicle, although police could not immediately say whether it was used in the shooting or legally owned.

A bullet hole could be seen in the rear passenger window of a car in which a child was shot on April 6, 2021, near Monroe and Lake Shore drives near Grant Park.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

A bullet hole was visible in the rear passenger window of the crashed vehicle. Northbound Lake Shore Drive was closed until around 1:30 p.m. as police investigated.

Lightfoot called the shooting a “simple, stupid case of road rage.” She was in disbelief that adults would vent their anger and use a gun with a child so close.

“It’s amazing to me that people carry guns the way they do. Let them use them as they do. … It’s just a terrible tragedy,” she told an independent press conference.

“It wasn’t two rival gangs… shooting at each other. It was simple, stupid road rage,” the mayor said. “I just hope we’re smarter and more determined to make sure we set our kids the example we want them to follow. And getting upset about a traffic incident – that you can merge or not – that it would result in gunfire is nonsense to me.

Lightfoot said people in the two cars involved in the incident were firing weapons.

“There were shots going from this car and coming to this car. It doesn’t make sense to me,” Lightfoot said.

Community activist Ja’Mal Green, father of a 2-year-old, is personally funding a $5,000 reward for information leading to the shooter’s arrest.

At a press conference near the hospital, Green called community leaders, including Lightfoot, Governor JB Pritzker and Vice President Kamala Harris, who flew into Chicago two hours after the shooting to talk about the equity of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I understand how important it is to vaccinate people and talk about this pandemic blanket, but here in Chicago people are walking around every day trying to dodge bullets in hopes of being able to survive a beautiful day like today,” Green said.

“That’s the most I’ve ever seen them talk about our communities. It’s the most I’ve ever seen that they want to give something back to our communities…but we’re asking for real health and real change, and for the fundamental issues to be resolved in our communities. We need to invest in these communities, we need to make sure we can have a safe summer.

Green was joined by several other young Chicago residents — most of whom he mentors — including 18-year-old Madison Harvey.

“Every day when I walk the streets of the city, I fear for my own life,” Harvey said. “This situation is extremely sad, but it almost makes us extremely angry because our anger stems from fear – fear that we might be next.”

As summer approaches, Green demanded that officials invest more in communities most affected by gun violence. He also called for a “ceasefire” on young people.

“We can’t take this anymore,” he said.

The CPD said it could not immediately say how many road rage shootings occur in the city each year.

Illinois State Police said there have been 56 freeway shootings in the Chicago area this year, a 167% increase from the same time last year. Between January 1, 2020 and April 5, 2020, state police investigated 21 freeway shootings. State police could not say how many of those shootings were road rage incidents.

Police have responded to at least five other shootings this year in the Loop.

Police are investigating after a child was shot on April 6, 2021, near Monroe and Lake Shore Parkways near Grant Park.

Police are investigating after a child was shot on April 6, 2021, near Monroe and Lake Shore Parkways near Grant Park.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Last weekend, two men were injured in separate shootings on Lower Wacker Drive. On Easter, an 18-year-old man was shot dead at around 7.10am while driving with his girlfriend in the first block of North Lower Wacker, police said. Hit in the neck, he was hospitalized in critical condition. Before dawn on Saturday, a 29-year-old man was shot in the knee while traveling in a vehicle on Lower Wacker, police said.

On March 19, three people were arrested for firing shots shortly after midnight in the first block of East Lake Street, police said. A hotel security guard gave a description of the vehicle to police, who found the car on Wacker Drive.

In October 2020, prosecutors said Lake Shore Drive became a ‘shooting gallery’ when someone shot a 19-year-old woman in the eye in a vehicle on Jackson Boulevard, just south of the where the child was shot on Tuesday.

Chicago Police 1st District, which covers the Loop and South Loop, saw two more shootings this year through March 28, according to police statistics. Overall crime in the district is down 35% from the same time last year, the figures show. Meanwhile, reports of sexual assaults and vehicle thefts have increased over the past year.

Contributor: Mary Chappell

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