A 15-year-old boy has been charged with attempted murder in a suspected gang-related shooting on Halloween night, which struck a 7-year-old girl who was trick-or-treating on Chicago’s West Side, according to police.
The boy, who wore a mask that the character Jason wears in the “Friday the 13th” movies, was taken into custody Friday and charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of attempted battery through discharge of a firearm, police said.
The girl, dressed in a bumblebee costume, was walking with her father when was shot by an apparent stray bullet in the Little Village neighborhood. She was critically injured and taken to Stroger Hospital.
The girl was still in critical condition Saturday, but doctors remained optimistic, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. He said she was an unintended victim.
The girl’s family said in a statement that they were “grateful for the outpouring of love and support shown by all of Chicago and the nation.”
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A group of men was chasing another man on Halloween night when someone in the group fired, police said.
A 31-year-old man was also shot in the left hand during the incident, police said. He was taken to a nearby hospital and is in good condition. Guglielmi said Friday police believe the man was the intended target of the shooting, which he also said was gang-related.
“The shooting yesterday was reprehensible,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a press conference Friday morning. “I came here to brief you … on the progress being made to reduce violence in the city of Chicago. But none of that matters if parents that live in certain communities can’t even taken their children out on Halloween. … There’s no place for this savagery in our city.”
President Donald Trump, who made his first presidential visit to Chicago on Monday, blasted Johnson on Twitter in response to the shooting. “Chicago will never stop its crime wave with the current Superintendent of Police. It just won’t happen!” he wrote.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded to Trump’s criticism on Twitter, writing, “Superintendent Eddie Johnson is a lifelong Chicagoan who has dedicated his career to public service. You only serve yourself. The crime wave you should be concerned about is the one you are perpetrating against the American people from the White House.”
Chicago saw its fewest number of shootings and homicides in October this year since 2015, police said. For the past two years, shootings and homicides have been declining in Chicago, and 2019 is on track to continue the trend.
Johnson said community efforts are contributing to that decline.
“One of the leading causes of this crime reduction is because we have community groups around the city — the ones most plagued by violence — coming forward to partner with the police now,” he said. “We’ve had really a great deal of tips come in for this particular incident. And that tells me that people are tired of this senseless violence.”
But Johnson said the progress was not yet “cause for celebration.”
“We still have a lot of work to be done,” he said.
Contributing: Ryan Miller, USA TODAY
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