Trick-or-treating on Halloween night is supposed to be a classic childhood memory, but for one family in Chicago, it quickly turned tragic.
Chaos erupted in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood Thursday evening when a group of men began chasing another man near businesses in the area in an apparent gang conflict, according to the Chicago Police Department.
Shots were fired during the pursuit and two bullets hit a 7-year-old girl dressed in a Halloween costume who was trick-or-treating with her family; the shooter was wearing a “Friday the 13th” Jason mask during the incident.
Lali Lara, who works in a cellphone store nearby, described the horrifying scene after the shots were fired.
“I went outside,’’ she told the Chicago Tribune. “The girl’s father was screaming, ‘My little girl’s been shot!’”
Lara said she rushed to hold the little girl’s hand and press on her wounds to stop the bleeding.
“I was pressing on her and calling her name so she won’t close her eyes,’’ she 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.”
Larry Langford, a spokesperson from the Chicago Fire Department, said the girl was shot in her lower neck before paramedics rushed her to the hospital for treatment, according to The Associated Press.
The girl was in critical condition last night but has since been stabilized.
“This is unacceptable,” Chicago Police Sgt. Rocco Alioto said. “A 7-year-old girl that was trick-or-treating with her family had to get shot because a group of guys want to shoot at another male.”
During a news conference on Friday morning, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said authorities have a person of interest in custody and that the community’s willingness to provide information has greatly helped them with their investigation.
“There’s no place for this savagery in our city,” Superintendent Johnson said.
“The only way we can make our neighborhoods safe is if everyone is invested in the process. There’s no place for offenders to hide when all eyes are searching,” he continued.
“We’ve had a great deal of tips come in for this particular incident, and that tells me people are tired of this senseless violence.”
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