CHICAGO (CBS) — A 10-month-old girl was critically wounded Monday morning, when she was shot while riding in the back seat of a car on the Bishop Ford Freeway in the Pullman neighborhood.
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported, the hunt was still on for the gunman nearly 11 hours later.
The family of the girl, Ny’ori Askew, said she was a happy baby who had just turned 10 months old on Monday.
The family said Ny’ori was awaiting surgery late Monday. She was in a lot of pain and was crying, the family said.
“My niece is fighting for her life because somebody came and shot up a car on the expressway, not even knowing if this was your intended target – just shooting,” said Ny’ori’s great aunt, Tiara Smothers.
The family talked about the bullet wound that little Ny’ori was battling.
“Right here, on her back,” Smothers said. “We don’t know if the bullet ricocheted. We don’t know.”
Illinois State Police said a car was headed north on I-94 near 115th Street around 11:15 a.m., when the driver heard a gunshot. The driver checked on the infant in the back seat, and saw the baby had been injured. Ny’ori’s mother, Nakiyah Askew, and another woman were also in the car.
They heard one shot and quickly realized Ny’ori was hit. They rushed the baby to the hospital, where she was listed in critical condition.
As CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reported, groups clashed earlier Monday in a volatile situation outside the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital where the baby was being treated.
The scene developed around 1 p.m. Monday. We are told friends and family were quarreling with one another, and at times, groups needed to be separated by law enforcement at the scene.
It is unclear why the confrontations occurred or if it was a factor in the earlier gun violence.
On Monday night, Early Walker – founder of the group I’m Telling, Don’t Shoot, put up a cash reward of $10,000 for information leading to an arrest.
“This was on the expressway, so someone knows something. Someone seen something. Someone saw something,” Walker said.
Hours earlier, Walker was standing with Chicago Police Supt. David Brown, offering a reward in a different shooting.
On Monday night, he stood by another family in need.
“I don’t even know where to begin,” Walker said. “We are tired.”
“This is ridiculous that we even have to do this – to ask for someone to come forward for shooting a baby,” Smothers said.
With this latest attack, there have been 65 shootings on Chicago area expressways so far this year, nearly double the number of shootings at the same time last year.
There have also been eight children under 5 years old who have been shot in Chicago in June and July. Two of them have died.
One-year-old Sincere Gaston was shot in the chest while he was in the back seat of his mother’s car in the 6000 block of South Halsted Street in Englewood on Saturday, June 27.
On Saturday, June 20, 3-year-old Mekhi James was shot and killed while riding in an SUV with his stepfather on the 600 block of North Central Avenue. The 27-year-old stepfather, who police believed to be the target of the shooting, suffered a graze wound to the abdomen and drove to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park. Mekhi was pronounced dead at the same hospital.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar and Jeremy Ross contributed to this report.