DOLTON, Ill. (CBS) — A woman was shot while simply driving down the street in south suburban Dolton – with four children in the car.
As CBS 2’s Chelsea Irving reported, the incident happened around 7 p.m. at the intersection of Sibley Boulevard and Cottage Grove Avenue, police said.
A Dolton village spokesman said a suspect in a vehicle going east on Sibley Boulevard fired a gun outside of the car.
CBS 2 has heard reports that two rival gangs had been exchanging gunfire, but that has not been confirmed.
The bullets, regardless, struck the woman, who was driving a red minivan. She was reportedly wounded in the head and was in extremely critical condition.
After being shot, the woman lost control of the minivan, which went off the road and struck a tree, officials said.
Witnesses said her four small children were seen running out of the car screaming for help, and saying their mom had been shot.
The kids were all unharmed physically, officials said.
As of 10 p.m., no one was in custody and police were asking for help.
“Come in here and start putting the pieces together, and then they will give you something solid, you know, once they find out who they were shooting at, and where they were going when they were shooting,” said crisis responder and Dolton Village Trustee Andrew Holmes. “But at this moment now, we just have a female that’s really critical, and we’re just asking for anybody with any knowledge to give the Dolton Police Department a call.”
The shooting comes just two days after another one less than a mile away.
Around 1:30 p.m. Monday, police responded to an armed robbery in progress at a used car dealership near Sibley Boulevard and Chicago Road.
Two suspects, both 19 years old, had entered the dealership, announced a robbery, and stole the manager’s wallet and gun, Dolton Mayor Riley Rogers said.
An officer spotted the suspects exiting the dealership, and exchanged gunfire with the robbers, according to Rogers.
The officer shot one of the suspects in the thigh. One suspect was arrested, but the other fled the scene.
The officer was also injured, but not by gunfire, Rogers said. Holmes said the officer might have dislocated a shoulder while taking cover.
The suspect in the Monday incident remained at large as of Wednesday night.
In the Wednesday night incident, the mother was in her 40s. The ages of the children ranged from young children to teenagers.
Late Wednesday, police were going door-to-door looking for information and witnesses.