CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Fire Department is under attack for how paramedics responded when they mistakenly thought a teenager who was shot in the head was dead when he was actually still alive.
A sheet was placed over the teen’s body and he was only rushed to the hospital after someone noticed he was still moving.
His family wants answers.
Eric Carey, the father of teenager Erin Carey, blames the Chicago Fire Department for the death of his youngest son, Erin.
“Chicago Fire Department really dropped the ball,” he said.
The 17-year-old was shot along with five others on Chicago’s near West Side Monday.
Chicago police describe the wound to his head as catastrophic.
According to witnesses, once paramedics arrived, instead of putting Erin in an ambulance, they tended to the other people who were shot.
At some point, someone put a sheet over Erin.
“That could not have been proper procedure,” said Carey.
Witnesses said Erin laid under the sheet for close to an hour before someone watching a city pod camera noticed movement and alerted dispatch.
“That’s too long to leave anybody laying in the street,” said Carey.
It was only then that Erin was rushed to the hospital where he died the next day.
His family is haunted by the thought that perhaps he could’ve survived if he had been treated sooner.
“If they seen my son laying there with a gunshot wound to the head, you don’t throw a sheet over his head and walk to the next person,” said Carey. ” First of all, did you check and see if he even had a pulse,” he asked.
“Their conduct was not just negligent, not just reckless, definitely disgraceful,” said family attorney Neye E. Uche.
A spokesperson for the Chicago Fire Department said it was unacceptable for paramedics to leave Erin Carey unattended.
They added that it’s not policy to leave people in the street even if they are mortally wounded.
The family is considering filing a lawsuit.
CBS 2’s Mai Martinez and Jeremy Ross contributed to this report.