A 1-month-old baby girl was shot in the head during another mass shooting in Chicago. At least seven people were wounded in the shooting, which happened Thursday night in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood.
Three gunmen jumped out of a black Jeep Cherokee around 8:15 p.m. Thursday. The armed assailants "began shooting in several directions" in the 6500 block of South Halsted Street, according to Chicago police. The gunmen got back in the SUV and fled the crime scene.
A bullet struck a 1-month-old baby girl in the head, and she was rushed to St. Bernard Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition. She was later transferred to the Comer Children's Hospital, a Chicago Fire Department spokesperson told the Chicago Times.
The baby's uncle, Charles McKenzie, said the child is "doing pretty good." The baby underwent surgery and was now able to breathe on her own. McKenzie said the bullet did not pierce her skull, but the car seat that she was sitting in had several bullet holes in it.
McKenzie, who is a violence prevention activist, said he was in disbelief when he got the phone call that someone in his family was a victim in the mass shooting.
"They said your niece was shot, I'm like my niece? I couldn't believe it," McKenzie said.
"It's hurtful, it's painful," he continued. "To know that I'm out here serving and protecting the community and fighting against gun violence every day and it ends up my people that's afflicted from this gun violence."
A nearby store manager said the baby's family are "just regular everyday people" who were "hanging out near their car parked outside" when the gunfire erupted.
The manager said that the baby's father, who he described as a "good guy," was among the seven people shot.
"All he's trying to do is take care of his family," the store manager said. "He doesn't do anything stupid or anything like that. Unfortunately these guys came out of nowhere."
"This area has been like this forever," the manager said of violent crime. "This is like an ongoing thing that's been going on for years."
Another victim of the mass shooting is a 15 year old. Five of the shooting victims were transported to hospitals, and are said to be in good condition. Another person suffered a graze wound, but declined to go to the hospital.
The baby being shot occurred less than six hours after a 9-year-old girl was shot in the head while sitting in a car on the city's South Side. The girl was taken to the hospital, where she is in critical condition, according to police. The suspects fled in a white SUV, and no arrests have been made.
There were four people killed and 28 wounded in Chicago shootings on Thursday, WMAQ-TV reported.
Last week, a terrifying dashcam video caught the moment brash gunmen opened fire at a busy traffic light in Chicago. Chicago is experiencing alarming rates of violent crime this year. As of June 27, there have been 1,489 shooting incidents this year in Chicago – a 12% increase from 1,333 shootings over the same time period last year, according to police department data.
Violent crimes continue to soar despite police making a concerted effort to confiscate illegal guns. Police seized 5,901 guns, including 290 assault weapons, so far this year – a 26% increase from the number of guns confiscated at the same time last year, David Brown, superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, said at a news conference Thursday.
"There's a lot of work to be done," Brown said. "When crime happens, which is likely late evening into the early morning ... is when our schedules are being adjusted. Because we are sworn to protect the people of Chicago. But we have also acknowledged 12-hour shifts and canceled days off are impacting our officers. ... and we have implemented an officer wellness plan as a part of this."