CHICAGO (CBS) — A toddler was fighting for his life Tuesday night after being shot in a road rage incident on Lake Shore Drive downtown, and a Good Samaritan is credited with saving precious time by rushing the boy to the hospital on the spot.
The Good Samaritan – who did not want to be identified – spoke with CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar Tuesday night.READ MORE: New CPD Policy On Search Warrants To Go Into Effect May 28; Police To Begin Tracking Wrong Raids Resulting From Faulty Information
In the midday hours, the 21-month-old boy was a passenger in a car shot at over the course of two blocks on northbound Lake Shore Drive near Roosevelt Road along Grant Park.
The car was shot at over the course of two blocks on northbound Lake Shore Drive near Roosevelt Road. Police said shots flew along the Drive for two blocks between 9th and 11th streets.
The child was shot in the face. Police radio communications indicated he was shot once in the temple and once in the jaw. The white sedan carrying the child ended up crashing on Lake Shore Drive near Monroe Drive.
We are told a family member jumped out of the car and screamed for help, trying to flag down drivers on Lake Shore Drive. Only one car stopped – and its driver said he didn’t think about it. He knew he had to do something.
He loaded the family in his car and rushed them to Northwestern Memorial Hospital – saving precious seconds.
”She had a baby in her arm, and she was screaming and trying to get people to pull over,” the Good Samaritan said. “There was a lot of crying and screaming: ‘My baby! Baby has been shot!’”
De Mar asked the Good Samaritan why he stopped.
“Because they needed help, and it looked like no one else was going to help them,” he said.
The Good Samaritan drove the gravely injured toddler and family from the Drive to Northwestern Hospital in Streeterville, and he is credited for giving the little boy a fighting chance.READ MORE: Hennessy, The Cat Who Leapt To Safety From Burning Englewood Apartment Building, Hasn't Returned Home
“Once they got in the vehicle, I knew where I needed to be at,” he said, “and it was just getting there as fast as I possibly could.”
Police say the shooting was fueled by road rage. Someone in a sport-utility vehicle fired those shots into the white Lincoln several times an hit the toddler.
Moments later, the right person just happened to be driving by.
Once at the hospital, his car was processed for evidence, while the boy was transferred to Lurie Children’s Hospital nearby and rushed into surgery.
“It’s a very serious bullet injury,” said Dr. Marcelo Malakooti, medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Lurie. “It’s to his head.”
Malakooti said the boy suffered a brain injury and describe his condition as “grave.” He had to go on a ventilator.
Doctors said the boy was in intensive care late Tuesday, but stressed the importance of the seconds saved by rushing him to the hospital instead of waiting for an ambulance.
“A Good Samaritan is bringing them and getting them to the hospital quickly,” Malakooti said. “With any type of head injury, time is of the essence.
“I’m hoping the baby recovers,” the Good Samaritan said. “I hope, I hope that it actually made a difference.”MORE NEWS: CBS 2 Chicago Wins 2020 Chicago Headline Club Watchdog Award
Late Tuesday, Chicago Police said they were questioning a person of interest. As for the toddler, doctors said it was a serious situation and rare for such a young child to suffer such an injury – and they said it was hour by hour.