CHICAGO - A 14-year-old Chicago girl was walking her dog Wednesday when she was shot in the head.
The incident occurred in the 1700 block of West 48th Street at about 6:09 p.m. in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Officials say surveillance video shows the 14-year-old had just left a corner store with her boyfriend when two unknown suspects walked up to them. The teen girl was then asked if she was in a gang, according to 15th Ward Alderman Raymond Lopez.
The 14-year-old said she was not in a gang, but that her mother was. She was then chased down the block and shot. The suspects fled the scene.
The girl is currently in critical condition at Comer Children's Hospital after undergoing surgery.
"A girl & her boyfriend are ‘checked’ by gang members. The girl’s response was to tell them while she’s not a gang banger, her mom is. Shots fired & shooters run away. Generational gang life swirling unchecked," Alderman Lopez tweeted. "Chicago it’s only Wednesday!"
No suspects are in custody for the shooting.
Community activist Andrew Holmes urged neighbors who may have cameras on their homes to give footage to the Chicago Police Department.
With shootings up 36% this year compared to 2020, Holmes put partial blame on pretrial judges who set bonds, saying the lack of consequences for gun offenders is resulting in more violence — a belief repeatedly expressed by Chicago Police Supt. David Brown.
"These streets belongs to the children, the parks belong to the children," Holmes said Wednesday outside Comer Children’s Hospital. "Give our city back to our youth."
Alderman Lopez said a new gang in the area has been recruiting from neighborhood schools – focusing on kids 15 years and younger. He blamed the glorification of gang culture for violence in his ward.
"This elevation of gang life has to come to an end. It’s not cute. It only comes to one outcome, what we saw last night," he told the Sun-Times.
A prayer vigil was held Thursday night for the victim.
"There’s no reason why in our community it’s this normal for young people to continuously be lost in the streets," said activist Berto Aguayo. "The point is her life matters."
Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.