A 1-year-old boy in a car seat who was shot while riding with his mom in the Englewood neighborhood on the city’s South Side has died Saturday afternoon, police said.
The boy, identified as 20-month-old Sincere Gaston, was with his mother after a visit to a laundromat when it happened shortly after 2 p.m., Chicago police Chief Fred Waller said during a news briefing outside the 7th District station, 1438 W. 63rd St.
They were southbound on Halsted Street near 60th Street when someone in another car pulled alongside and fired seven or eight times, Waller said. The baby, who was in a back car seat, was shot once in the chest, and his mom, about 22, was grazed in the head.
She then sped to get help at a gas station at 63rd Street and Yale Avenue, and from there a good Samaritan drove her to St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center, 326 W. 64th St., where the baby was pronounced dead at 3:02 p.m., according to a police report.
Earlier, officials said the mother had driven them there.
“Too many times children are killed,” Waller told reporters.
“It seems like just yesterday, it was actually last Saturday, I was in front of you all talking about a 3-year-old kid. ... When is this gonna stop?” Waller demanded.
Waller said detectives were working “feverishly” to solve the case, and he said the motive was unclear.
“I don’t even have the words to see that family at St. Bernard. The tremendous emotion, the tremendous strife that they were going through,” Waller said.
“And we’ll catch them. We will no doubt we’ll catch the person who did it. We’ll catch the person who killed that 3-year-old. We’ll catch the person who killed this kid. But that’s not gonna bring that kid back. And that’s not gonna satisfy that family.”
The child would have turned 2 years old in the fall, according to a law enforcement source.
“When are we going to say enough is enough?”Waller said.
When asked by a reporter whether Chicagoans should expect more violence and young children killed going forward this summer, Waller balked: “To expect kids to get killed, is that, that’s the question you asked me? Should we expect kids to be killed? We never expect that. No one has an expectation of anything like that,” he said.
Waller defended his department’s mission to recover illegal guns and arrest violent offenders but said “the mindset and to a certain extent the culture that we live in” lead to people settling conflicts through violence.
“We ALL need to be outraged by the violence we are seeing in our city. This baby, and all of our residents, deserve better,” said Chicago police Superintendent David Brown in a statement emailed late Saturday.
“This is not just a problem that Englewood needs to solve. This is not just a problem on the South Side or the West Side. We cannot compartmentalize the violence that is tearing families and communities apart. Someone knows something,” Brown said in the statement. “For the sake of Chicago’s children, please come forward to help bring the trigger pullers to justice.”
Around 4:30 p.m., the Chicago police news briefing was delayed, and onlookers and police officers gathered outside the hospital.
A red car faced the sliding doors of the emergency room and was pocked with at least four bullet holes and surrounded by red and yellow crime scene tape.
The mother and child were among at least 10 others — five of whom were men who died — shot since daybreak, police said.
Most recently, a male of an unknown age was found with a gunshot wound to his head in the 4400 block of South Kedzie Avenue in the Brighton Park neighborhood shortly before 4 p.m., police said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died.
Earlier, about 11:25 a.m., a 17-year-old boy was fatally shot in the 1100 block of North Monticello Avenue, in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. He was in a “large crowd” when he became embroiled in a fight with someone in the group when somebody shot him, police said.
A 25-year-old man was fatally shot about 10:50 a.m. in the 1300 block of South Springfield Avenue in the Lawndale neighborhood. He was on foot when a silver vehicle drove past him and someone inside fired shots. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died.
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Shortly before 7 a.m. in the 1100 block of West 57th Street in the Englewood neighborhood, a 30-year-old man was sitting in a Chevrolet Tahoe when someone shot him in the head, and he was pronounced dead on the scene, police said. Witnesses told police they heard shots and saw a 2003 Nissan flee the scene at a high rate of speed.
A 33-year-old man was slain during a domestic incident about 6:20 a.m. in the 9300 block of South Lyons Avenue in the Burnside neighborhood. A woman who intervened when the 33-year-old began “striking the children” fatally shot him, police said. She was being questioned by detectives.