CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A 3-year-old girl was shot Tuesday evening in West Englewood in what authorities say may have been retaliation for a shooting that wounded a teenager a half hour earlier.
The girl was struck by a bullet in the chest before 8 p.m. near 70th Street and Damen Avenue, police and fire officials said.
She was in a yard or on a porch when she was hit by shots fired from a vehicle, police said. The girl was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in “critical but stable” condition.
“This cannot be our new normal, people,” Chicago Police Chief of Operations Fred Waller said Tuesday night at the scene of the shooting. “Our babies are being shot. These are our babies.”
With the Fourth of July holiday weekend ahead, Waller said that he wants people to enjoy the weekend, but to exercise caution.
“We don’t want to make it seem like you can’t enjoy the holiday, but I tell people, be careful of your associations…people who do things and then run to your residence,” Waller said. “So we want to have a safe holiday weekend for everyone, but we can’t ignore this. This is something that can be ignored.”
Police are investigating whether the girl’s shooting was related to an incident less than 30 minutes earlier when a 15-year-old boy was wounded by gunfire less than a half-mile away, Waller said. The teen was in the 7100 block of South Honore Street when he was shot in the calf and buttocks. He was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in good condition, according to police.
The girl was the latest victim in a rash of shootings that have left children and teens dead or wounded across the city.
She was the fourth child age 3 or younger to be shot in Chicago in the last 10 days. Two of those four died. Several teens also have been killed in the last two weeks.
Mekhi James, 3, was shot and killed in Austin over Father’s Day weekend.
Lena Nunez, 10, was killed in Logan Square over the same weekend, as was 17-year-old Antiwon Douglas in Humboldt Park.
Father’s Day weekend also saw the shooting deaths of four other teens — two in Austin and two in South Chicago.
Last week, a 3-year-old girl was wounded when a bullet grazed her in Chicago Lawn.