Chicago Sun-Times

Boy, 12, shot in apparent ‘random act of violence’


A 12-year-old boy was left in “extremely” critical condition after being shot in the head during an apparent “random act of violence” Tuesday night on the Near West Side, according to Chicago police officials.

The boy and his uncle were returning to a family party in the 1800 block of West 21st Place when they saw three cars circling the area, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan told reporters at police headquarte­rs Wednesday.

Two people then fired shots from an alley, striking the boy. His uncle, a concealed carry license holder, fired back but doesn’t believe he shot anyone, Deenihan said.

The boy was hit in the right side of the head and was rushed to Stroger Hospital, police said. He remained in “extremely” critical condition, Deenihan said.

Officers tried stopping one of the cars that was seen circling the block, but it “fled at a high rate of speed,” Deenihan said. A police helicopter tracked it to Hinsdale, where local police officers stopped it and took three people into custody.

“This is just extremely tragic,” Deenihan said. “The people we have in custody are gang members. We believe that they were just shooting at this individual because they didn’t recognize him from the neighborho­od.”

However, Deenihan acknowledg­ed investigat­ors don’t “have enough informatio­n to say that these are the defendants in this case,” and he asked for the public’s help.

Supt. David Brown said there’s no indication the boy’s uncle “was involved in any criminal behavior,” saying he has no gang affiliatio­ns. Brown raised the possibilit­y the attack “could just be a random act of violence.”

“This group just shot at this person for no apparent is what we have now,” he noted.

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