CHICAGO (CBS) — Two children were shot on a playground outside a South Side elementary school, innocent bystanders of a drive-by shooting.
The children, two girls ages 7 and 13, ran into Warren Elementary School after shots rang out around 1:45 p.m., according to community activist Andrew Holmes.
Their conditions were said to be non-life threatening. The 13-year-old — identified by family members at Dakayla Hart — was being prepared for surgery, according to the girl’s sister, Vaytonna Hart, who was at the hospital.
“She’s in a lot of pain,” she said.
“Everything is starting to hit her now, and she’s ready to cry,” Kayla’s father, Emerson Hart, says of the girl’s experience. “But she’s going to be all right — she’s alive.”
Dakayla was shot in the hand.
The 7-year-old girl, JayLa Wright, was injured in the arm and hip, CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.
Both girls, taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, were released later Friday.
Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said the shooters were firing at two former students who had tried to crash a cookout at the school. They were denied entry and were hanging outside school grounds when a car drove up and somebody started shooting.
“We all hit the floor, it was a drive by,” according to one witness.
Other students left their backpacks in the school year and raced inside for cover.
“This makes me sick,” Supt. Johnson said. “That’s not what we are about.”
“It’s a new low,” said one school parent. “It’s really hurtful.”
The girls were playing at Warren Elementary School, 9239 S. Jeffrey, in the Calumet Heights neighborhood, which was celebrating with a cookout at the time of the shooting.
“Numerous casings” were found at the scene, according to police scanner traffic.
According to preliminary information, police have “persons of interest” in custody.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel went to Comer Children’s hospital to check on the victims and visit with the family.
“This is a parent’s worst nightmare,” a visibly angry Emanuel told reporters. “Those kids were out on the playground enjoying their childhood.”
“There is no person in Chicago who is not disgusted by this incident. These are our kids. They deserve their childhood uninterrupted by a bunch of gangbangers.”
“I would hope for once, when people say enough is enough … that the justice system … understands what enough is enough is.”