CHICAGO (CBS) — A three-year-old girl is recovering after being shot in the chest Tuesday night in West Englewood.

Chicago Police are investigating whether it may have been in retaliation for another shooting earlier in the night. It’s a common theme connecting a number of child victims shot in recent weeks.

CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey has more.

Police did not have an update on the case of the three-year-old girl shot Tuesday night but said they were investigating whether it was connected to a shooting that wounded a 15-year-old.

Violence prevention advocates said people need to stop looking at the targets and instead focus on the shooters. The three-year-old girl was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition, but her condition had been stabilized and she is expected to recover.

Police said the shooters were in a vehicle. The toddler was not. She’s at least one of eight children age 10 or under have been shot in the last two weeks.

One baby boy, Sincere Gaston, was just 20 months old.

On Wednesday, his parents spoke out for the first time since sincere was shot in the chest while riding in the back seat of his mother’s car in Englewood Saturday afternoon.

“Do ya’ll know how it felt for me to identify my son at a morgue? My one-year-old baby, at a morgue,” asked Miller.

“I’m living reality. It’s real. My baby is gone,” said Thomas Gaston, Sincere’s father.

He had turned his life around getting into trouble as a young man, and has been part of the community advocacy and outreach group, Creating Real Economic Destiny (CRED.)

“It made me feel like I was the suspect when I was the victim,” Gaston said. “I never, in a million years, thought I’d lose my son.”

Kanoya Ali, also with CRED, said they’ve been closely following the surge in gun violence against children.

“I wouldn’t justify anybody taking retaliation taking another child’s life. That’s insane,” Ali said.

He said shining the spotlight on the shooter instead of the supposed target is more beneficial.

“We need more programs out here to reach out to these young men. These are some guys who are dealing with some emotional baggage, some turmoil. They don’t know how to unpack,” Ali added.

Meanwhile, Sincere’s family wants justice for their son.

“CPD, we need your help. Find him. Find him,” Sincere’s mother Jasmin Miller said.

CBS 2 checked in on both of these cases on Wednesday. CPD did not have an update on persons of interest or suspects.

 

Megan Hickey