(CBS) –A 4-year-old girl reportedly riding a scooter in a Marquette Park alley was shot in the stomach Monday afternoon and seriously wounded when a gunman opened fire. An adult male also was injured.
The shooting happened shortly before 5 p.m. in the 7100 block of South Rockwell Street, the Chicago Fire Department said.
Family members identified the young victim as Khalise Weatherspoon.
Residents at the scene tell CBS 2 the girl was on her scooter when a man appeared in an alley and began shooting. She apparently was caught in the crossfire and was hit in the abdomen.
“As she got to the alley, some guy in a black hoodie started shooting,” Bamani Obadele, a father who lives in the neighborhood, told reporters. “He was on foot. I guess he started shooting and I guess he shot several people.”
Police sources said it appears the girl’s family has gang ties, and a relative of the girl was the intended target. Khalise’s family denied any links to gangs and claimed only children were outside when the shooting happened.
Obadele said the sight of the injured girl traumatized her friends, who came upon the shooting’s aftermath.
“It’s high time that the black community get a grip. We’ve had summit after summit. We’ve had march after march. The reality is we know the people who are the potential shooters,” Obadele said.
The girl was taken to Mt. Sinai. A 31-year-old man who was shot in the buttocks was transported to Holy Cross in serious condition, Chicago police said.
The girl was out of intensive care on Tuesday morning, and doctors said he was fortunate that the bullet did not cause much damage.
Family members gathered outside the hospital where Khalise was being treated. They said they’re encouraged by what doctors are telling them – that the girl will pull through.
“The kids that are getting shot – they’re innocent kids,” grandfather Richard Spires said. “My granddaughter don’t even know what a gun is.”
Monday’s shooting was the latest instance of an innocent child caught up in Chicago street violence.