CHICAGO (CBS) — As a 7-year-old girl clung to life after she was shot while trick-or-treating in the Little Village neighborhood on Halloween, a police spokesman said detectives are questioning one person of interest who might be the shooter.
“There’s no place for this savagery in our city,” Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said at Police Headquarters on Friday morning. “I’m disgusted, but committed to doing everything we can to find the cowards that would engage in a gun battle in the early evening hours while children were trick-or-treating.”
A juvenile person of interest is in police custody and being interrogated by Area Central Detectives are simultaneously working to identify additional individuals that may be involved. pic.twitter.com/1UJo2TyyH9
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) November 1, 2019
The girl, dressed in a ladybug costume, was with her father and her siblings, trick-or-treating at businesses on busy 26th Street near Lawndale Avenue around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, when a group of men chasing a 31-year-old man started shooting.
Police have said the shooter was wearing a mask.
The man was shot in the hand, and the girl was shot in the neck and chest.
A Good Samaritan, who was working at a nearby phone store, called out and helped the girl and her father after the shooting.
“She heard the gunshots. She went outside to see what had happened, and she seen the father carrying the little girl. She told him to come inside. She feel the need to help her. She saw here laying down on the floor, bleeding, and it was really hard for her,” said the woman’s sister.
When an ambulance took the girl and her father to the hospital, the Good Samaritan took the girl’s siblings home. She knows the family, because the father is a customer at the store.
The girl was in critical but stable condition at Stroger Hospital, and the man was treated at Mount Sinai Hospital.
The family of the girl released a statement Friday afternoon, saying, in part, they are “grateful for the outpouring of love and support shown by all of Chicago and the nation. She remains in serious condition. At this time, the family is requesting privacy.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Superintendent Johnson visited the girl at the hospital on Friday.
Johnson said the shooting appeared to stem from a dispute between rival gangs, and that the girl who was shot was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He said the 31-year-old man apparently was the intended target.
A video that has gone viral shows trick-or-treaters running as the shots rang out. Blocks away, a Ring doorbell video also picked up the shots.
Johnson said the video evidence detectives have collected has been very helpful.
The superintendent also said there has been an “overwhelming” response from the Little Village community, with Area Central detectives flooded with calls from tipsters, and many people coming into the Odgen District police station with information.
“That’s how we’re going to solve this case. It’s going to take a community-wide effort. The only way we can make our neighborhoods safe is if everyone is invested in the process. There’s no place for offenders to hide when all eyes are searching,” Johnson said. “We’ve had a great deal of tips come in for this particular incident, and that tells me people are tired of this senseless violence.”
Johnson said detectives are looking for multiple suspects connected to the shooting, and have identified one person of interest. The superintendent said there is a “great possibility” that person is the shooter.
“I know there are people out there that have details on who these individuals are, and where they might be located. I’m asking anyone who knows anything to stand up and do the right thing. Come forward so we can hold these offenders accountable. The individuals that did this cannot be trusted in the Little Village community or in any neighborhood in Chicago,” Johnson said.
Police have asked anyone with information on the shooting to contact Area Central detectives at 312-747-8380. Anonymous tips can also be sent to CPDTIP.com.