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UPDATED 07/06/11 4:20 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A 9-year-old boy is hospitalized in critical condition, after being shot in the head in his own backyard early Wednesday morning in the Roseland neighborhood.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, Ivan Burns was shot around 3:15 a.m. while in the backyard at 30 E. 100th Pl., just east of State Street. Activists said the 4th grader and his father were caught between rival gangs when they started shooting indiscriminately overnight.
Police said Ivan and his father had gone out to the back yard to let their dog in for the night, when shots rang out and the boy was struck in the head.
Neighbor Delores Burns told CBS 2′s Susanna Song that she heard the shots that wounded the 9-year-old boy.
“I heard, like, some gunshots because I was just coming out of my garage, and I heard them shooting, so I ran in the house,” Brown said.
Brown said she heard 6 or 7 gunshots and locked her door.
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Police say the boy and his father had been in the house, and had called it a night after watching TV and playing video games when they came out to bring in the dog, who was chained in the yard. That mundane activity ended up turning to tragedy.
“You know, the kids can’t play out here, because of they’re doing all this shooting out here,” Brown said. “A lady over there across the street, yesterday, she just got her car shot up. She had nine bullets in it, and then all this is happening again.”
Brown said just a year ago, her daughter was shot and killed just a block away by her boyfriend.
The family’s pastor, Gregory Livingston, said the family was too distraught to talk to reporters Wednesday afternoon.
“I think anytime you get shot, especially the traumatic wound that he received, it’s gonna be an uphill battle no matter what it is, but we’re praying for him,” Livingston said.
Sources said Ivan is unconscious and is in a medically induced coma.
His neighbor Nancy, who didn’t want to give her last name, said she refused to believe that the boy she’s used to seeing playing in his yard won’t soon be coming home from the hospital.
“We plan on seeing that little boy out here again, going to school and spending the rest of the summer being with my son, playing together,” she said.
Nancy said she’s struggling with how to break the news to her son, who now has to come to terms with the fact that one of his best friends may never be able to jump on the trampoline with him again.
“I’ve been praying that he pulls through this,” she said. “I’m praying that they come back with some good news that he made it.”
Community activist Andrew Holmes came to the neighborhood Wednesday morning to check up on the boy’s family.
“There have been quite a few shootings in Roseland over the weekend, but mostly I’m concerned about this young man fighting for his life, because with each gunshot, the bullet always hits a child, and it’s just disturbing that this young man has to be at the end of this bullet trying to fight for his life,” Holmes said. “But at the same time, I’m trying to find out why and how he was shot.”
Holmes said he hopes to make contact with the boy’s parents and offer them help. He also wants to find out how and why the shooting happened, and talk with residents of the community to find out.
He said he wants to “try to trace where this gun came from; get some information – who had this gun; who it belongs to.”
As of 4 p.m., no one was in custody in the shooting. Detectives spent the morning talking to neighbors and collecting evidence, trying to piece together exactly what led up to the incident.
Wednesday night, activists were planning to team up with CeaseFire for a peace rally in the neighborhood. At 6 p.m., the groups will march from the scene of another shooting at 107th Street and Wentworth Avenue to the scene where Ivan was shot.