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Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

3-Year-Old Boy Killed On West Side Among More Than 100 People Shot This Weekend

The toddler was killed when someone pulled up behind the car he was riding in and fired shots, police said.

The scene of a shooting that left 3-year-old Mekhi James (top right) dead in Austin. Amaria Jones, 13, was also killed Saturday while sitting inside her own home on the West Side.
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SOUTH AUSTIN — A toddler was shot and killed in the South Austin neighborhood Saturday night.

The boy was one of more than 100 people shot across the city over the weekend. A number of other children, including a 13-year-old girl who was killed inside her home, were shot. Eleven people were killed.

The 3-year-old was shot just before 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the 600 block of North Central Avenue.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the boy as Mekhi James, 3, of suburban Skokie.

A 27-year-old man was driving south on Central Avenue when someone in a blue Honda fired shots at the car, hitting him and the 3-year-old, police said.

Chief Fred Waller told reporters on the scene the shooter drove up behind the second car and fired shots into the back of the car.

The man’s abdomen was grazed by a bullet and the child was shot in his back, police said. The man drove to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, where the child was pronounced dead.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot condemned the shooting and pleaded for anyone to come forward with information that would help police identify the killer.

“There are simply no words to describe such a heinous, unconscionable act of cowardice to shoot at a toddler,” Lightfoot said on Twitter. “To the despicable individuals responsible for this senseless act of violence, you have no place in this city, no home in our communities, no shelter to hide.”

No one was in custody and area detectives are investigating. Anyone with information can submit an anonymous tip here.

Three teenagers also were killed in two shootings Saturday, according to police.

At 8:30 p.m. in the 1000 block of North Leclaire Avenue, two teenage boys were sitting on a porch when one noticed a red laser pointed at him, then heard multiple gunshots, police said.

A 16-year-old boy was hit in his leg, a 15-year-old boy was hit in his lower back and a 13-year-old girl inside the house was hit in her neck, police said. She was taken to Stroger Hospital and pronounced dead. The boys were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.

The girl was identified as Amaria Jones.

About 5 p.m., the boys, 16 and 17, were in an alley in the 7900 block of South Luella Avenue when someone walked up to them and fired shots, police said.

The 17-year-old was hit in his back, chest and left hand. The 16-year-old was hit in his back and left side. Both boys were taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead.

No one was reported to be in custody in either shooting as of Sunday morning.

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