A 15-year-old boy charged with attempted murder faces a court hearing Monday in connection with a Halloween night shooting that left a Chicago girl who was trick-or-treating fighting for her life.
The boy, who has not been identified because he’s a minor, was ordered to spend the weekend in jail. He has also been charged with aggravated assault with a firearm in the wounding of a 30-year-old man authorities say was the intended victim in what they believe was a gang-related incident.
The 7-year-old girl, who was wearing a bumblebee costume while trick-or-treating with her father on the West Side of Chicago, sustained gunshot wounds to her neck and upper chest. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted Saturday that she’s in critical condition, “but doctors are optimistic about prognosis.”
Disturbing: Chicago top cop: Girl’s shooting touches us all
The girl’s family said in a statement they were “grateful for the outpouring of love and support shown by all of Chicago and the nation.”
Police said a group of men were chasing another man when someone in the group fired. Officials added that the girl was nearby and an “unintended victim.”
The Chicago Tribune reported the intended target was walking near the girl when the attack occurred. Police located the man, who had shot in the hand, a block away, but he refused to talk to investigators, the paper said.
The high-profile shooting took place less than a month after two of the gang members accused in the death of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee, a crime that horrified the city and made national news, were convicted of murder.
Convictions: Second man found guilty in the murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee in Chicago
“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; The Associated Press