A 7-year-old girl was seriously wounded while trick-or-treating with her family in Chicago’s Little Village on Halloween night (October 31).
According to the Chicago Tribune, police believe the gunman was a member of the Gangster Two-Six gang, whose intended target was involved with a rival gang called the Latin Kings.
The two sets, according to the Tribune, have been locked in a violent and continuously raging gang war since the 1960s.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters Friday morning (November 1) the suspect was aiming at the suspected Latin King when he shot the girl two times as she walked down the street with her father on the 3700 block of West 26th Street, which is close to the border that divides the rival gangs.
The gunman, who was reportedly wearing a white “Jason” mask, stepped out from an alley just moments before the shooting and yelled a Latin King insult before firing at least seven times into a crowd of children in Halloween costumes, hitting the 7-year-old on the right side of her neck and upper chest, according to Chicago Police, according to the Tribune.
“Those involved don’t deserve to be in our city,” Eddie said. “I’m disgusted but committed to doing everything we can to find the cowards that would engage in a gun battle in early evening hours while children were trick-or-treating.”
Officials say the shooter’s intended target was walking near the girl and was hit in the hand before he ran from the scene.
The 32-year-old, who has a minor arrest record, but has not been identified to the public by police, was later discovered by officers about a block away, but refused to talk to investigators.
The girl, who has also not been identified publicly, was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition and has since been stabilized, according to CNN.
The Tribune reports investigators have possibly identified the shooter, however no arrests have been made.
“We’ve had really a great deal of tips coming in,” Johnson said. “That tells me that people are tired of this senseless violence. It also tells me that people are ready to come and work with the Police Department.”
One of the witnesses of the shooting was 25-year-old Lali Lara, who was working in a nearby cellphone store when she heard the shots.
"I went outside,’’ she told the Tribune. “The girl’s father was screaming, ‘My little girl’s been shot!’"
Lara, after gathering numerous people into her store for safety, says she held the young girl’s hand while pressing against her chest to stop the bleeding.
“I was pressing on her and calling her name so she won’t close her eyes,’’ Lara said. ”She was looking at me, and I was calling her name. She was holding my hand for three minutes and then she let me go. I have kids — I would go crazy if something happened to my kids."
Authorities are currently reviewing surveillance video footage, which, according to Johnson, captured the shooting on tape.
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images