Chicago Community Rallies Around Family Of 1-Year-Old Shot In Suspected Drive-By Meant For Mother
"Our babies are dying," the victim's grandfather said.
Chicago police are searching for the gunman responsible for shooting a 1-year-old child.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the child's mother may have been the target. The victim, identified as Dejon Irving, was found unresponsive in his grandmother's vehicle.
Around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, a sedan pulled up next to the grandmother's SUV and fired eight shots into the car. She was reportedly coming home from dropping someone off before the shooting occurred.
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The other occupants of the SUV, Dejon's grandmother, mother (who was in the front passenger seat), his 4-year-old brother and a 5-year-old cousin, were all unharmed. The family took Dejon to Little Company of Mary Hospital where he was then transferred to Comer Children’s Hospital. According to police, the child was shot in the head and listed in "very critical condition."
“We need to put these guns down," Dejon's grandfather, Melvin Freeman, told NBC Chicago. "The summer is coming, we need to put them down. Our babies are dying. We need to stop doing this, could we please put these guns down and let these babies live? Let these babies live."
The community has rallied around the family. Various community groups set up a reward of $13,500 for information regarding the case.
"A 1-year-old baby, a 1-year-old! My message to the perpetrators, it won’t be long, I guarantee you," community activist Andrew Holmes told NBC Chicago. "You won’t get away with this one. You won’t get away with this one."
Investigators have also released security footage on Friday showing the black sedan pulling up and firing at the SUV. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi believes the child's mother was the target because she was shot previously. There is no clear motive nor prime suspects at the moment.
“We believe the mother was the potential target,” Guglielmi said Friday. “This was not random.”
Any person with information can share tips at 312-747-8271 or call the St. Sabina Church at 773-483-4300. People can also send tips online at cpdtip.com.
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