Po­lice: Shoot­ing hurts at least 6, in­clud­ing 2 kids

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - CHICAGOLAN­D - By Han­nah Leone and Rose­mary Sobol [email protected]­bune.com [email protected]­bune.com

While about 20 chil­dren played out­side, adults at the baby shower were laugh­ing and hav­ing a good time, play­ing a game in which two men in the fam­ily wore fake bel­lies to look preg­nant.

Then gun­fire ripped down the West En­gle­wood street, wound­ing at least six peo­ple, in­clud­ing two young chil­dren, around 6:25 p.m. in the 6300 block of South See­ley Av­enue, po­lice said. An 8-year-old boy was shot in the chest and back, and a 10-year-old girl was shot in the shin. Both were sta­bi­lized at Comer Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal, po­lice said.

A 29-year-old woman was shot in the shoul­der and chest, and re­mained in crit­i­cal con­di­tion at Ad­vo­cate Christ Med­i­cal Cen­ter at Oak Lawn. A 42-year-old man shot twice in the hip was also taken to Christ. A 23-year-old man shot in the left foot and a 28-year-old man hit in the right shoul­der were both taken to Holy Cross and sta­bi­lized, po­lice said. The 28-year-old was trans­ferred to Mount Si­nai Hospi­tal.

There were about 20 chil­dren out­side, and they started rush­ing the house, where some peo­ple ducked while oth­ers went to the door to help the chil­dren in­side, said Richard Nix, whose old­est grand­son was hav­ing the baby shower. The chil­dren started pil­ing on top of one another as they were bot­tle­necked through the door, Nix said.

As Area South de­tec­tives be­gan to in­ves­ti­gate, po­lice said they had no sus­pects in cus­tody.

“The ones that were do­ing the shoot­ing, none of them get shot,” Nix said. “It’s just all the in­no­cent peo­ple.”

The baby shower was sup­posed to be a happy day, Nix said, “sup­posed to be.”

Now San­dra Wright Davis, a rel­a­tive of the 8-year-old boy shot in the chest, sat in Comer’s emer­gency room with sev­eral other fran­tic fam­ily mem­bers, wait­ing for word from doc­tors.

Wright Davis learned what hap­pened when the boy’s mother called her from the am­bu­lance where she was with her son, cry­ing, “My baby’s been shot!”

Wright Davis said the mother had ap­plied chest com­pres­sions. “She held onto her baby and ap­plied the … pres­sure. She did all the right things,’’ Wright Davis said.

As Wright Davis re­counted the har­row­ing phone call, a sob­bing woman walked in with at least half a dozen more rel­a­tives. She was in­con­solable, hold­ing her hands over her cheeks as tears ran down her face. “Je­sus,’’ she said.

Rel­a­tives tried to com­fort her, say­ing, “They said he was alert.”

“He’s got to be OK!’’ the woman said, hug­ging and hold­ing onto rel­a­tives, then col­laps­ing in the arms of a man who Wright Davis said was the boy’s fa­ther. He walked out of the in­take area, wear­ing light blue hospi­tal scrubs, tears stream­ing down his face too.

Head po­lice spokesman An­thony Guglielmi tweeted that the shoot­ing took place “at a fam­ily gath­er­ing” and peo­ple on scene weren’t co­op­er­at­ing with de­tec­tives.

A bou­quet of bal­loons floated out­side a home on See­ley be­tween 63rd and 64th streets. In the back­yard, peo­ple started tak­ing down yel­low, teal and red bal­loons that had been taped along the fence.

Ni­cole Cal­i­man and Tabitha Kel­lum, who both live in the Gre­sham area, stood a few yards away from the scene and took it in. Cal­i­man said she goes to crime scenes when she can be­cause she feels many doc­u­men­taries and shows glo­rify vi­o­lence in Chicago and she thinks it’s im­por­tant to see how things re­ally are. Some­times, she takes video.

“There’s a lot of in­jus­tice, a lot of peo­ple don’t re­ally un­der­stand what’s hap­pen­ing in Chicago or why it’s hap­pen­ing, so that’s kind of why I was like en­vi­sion­ing in my own head to do this,” she said. “It’s sad, it’s sad, you know what I’m say­ing? I hate hav­ing to jus­tify ev­ery­thing that hap­pens here to peo­ple.”

It can’t be jus­ti­fied, Kel­lum said. The gun­men in shoot­ings like Satur­day’s lack mo­rals, she said.

At the yel­low po­lice tape down 64th from the two women, another woman was talk­ing with of­fi­cers on the other side about how to get her car out of the crime scene so she could go to Comer.

“Do me a fa­vor, I want it to be as low-key as pos­si­ble,” an of­fi­cer told her. “We can go this way — I just want you, you gonna come with me, you gonna get your car and you gonna pull your car around. You gonna get your fam­ily out, and you can go to the hospi­tal, OK.”

The woman fol­lowed the of­fi­cer as her 15-year-old daugh­ter waited at the edge of the tape, hold­ing a tiny girl with flower-shaped beads clipped through­out her braided hair, stand­ing next to Richard Nix.

The girl said she and her mother had just parked down the street and were head­ing into the baby shower when two groups of males started shoot­ing at each other. The girl had no­ticed a teen wear­ing an or­ange do-rag sit­ting on one of the porches be­fore a car drove east down 64th to­ward See­ley and some­one in­side started shoot­ing out of the car.

The teen in the do-rag stood up, and a group across the street started shoot­ing back, she said.

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