Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Two people, including a 2-year-old boy, were killed and a pregnant woman was wounded in a shooting captured on Facebook Live as they drove in Chicago, where the latest spate of gun violence “must be a turning point” for the city, according to the mayor.
“I got a bullet in my stomach … they shot him, oh my God,” the pregnant woman screams after running from the car to a home in the 2300 block of South Kenneth Avenue in the city’s Lawndale section, according to the Chicago Tribune. “I can’t go to the hospital … this bullet in my stomach.”
Footage of the shooting goes dark after the woman gets inside the home, where she pleads with her mother for help but tells her she cannot go to the hospital because she might be taken to jail.
Just minutes earlier, the woman, who is reportedly four months pregnant, was seen chewing gum, smiling and singing into her cellphone as she sat in the passenger seat of a car driven by her 26-year-old boyfriend and with a 2-year-old boy, Levontay White Jr., in the back seat. The couple sing along to music and playfully posture for the camera until roughly a dozen shots ring out.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said paramedics were able to revive the boy at the scene, but he later died at Stroger Hospital, along with the 26-year-old man, who detectives believe was the intended target.
The woman, 20, and her baby were both listed in fair condition. Relatives told the newspaper she was about four months pregnant and is expected to survive.
“We have very promising leads, we have video,” Johnson told reporters Tuesday. “There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll find him.”
Levontay was the second child to die on Tuesday from gun violence in Chicago. Takiya Holmes, 11, passed away from wounds she suffered when a stray bullet struck her in the head as she rode in her family’s minivan. She died “in her mother’s arms,” Fox59.com reports, and was one of two girls struck by stray bullets in the city over the weekend. Murder charges were filed early Wednesday against a 19-year-old man in Takiya’s death, but how detectives tied suspect Antwan C. Jones to the shooting was not immediately available, the Tribune reports.
A second girl, Kanari Gentry Bowers, 12, remains in critical condition and on life support after being shot just 30 minutes before Takiya in separate incidents about four miles apart on Saturday, according to the Tribune.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the shootings “must be a turning point” for Chicago, which had 4,000 shooting victims and 762 homicides in 2016, a two-decade high, according to police statistics cited by the Washington Post.
“One victim of one shooting is one too many, but when innocent children are caught in the crossfire of gun violence and young people have their childhood stolen by stray bullets, our consciences are shaken and our hearts are broken,” Emanuel said in a statement. “Every parent, regardless of where they live, should be able to take their child for a walk to the park or a ride in the car. These are normal rites of passage of childhood.”
Emanuel called for “meaningful gun control” and tougher legislation to keep repeat violent offenders off the streets.
“Anyone with information about these crimes owes it to the families of these children to come forward,” Emanuel said.