CHICAGO — The 21-month-old boy shot in his head Tuesday while in a car on Lake Shore Drive remains in critical condition.
The boy, identified as Kayden Swann, has been placed on a ventilator and is in an induced coma to protect his brain, officials said during a Wednesday news conference outside Lurie Children’s Hospital, where the toddler is being treated.
The boy is being treated in the hospital’s Pediatric ICU, where he’s getting “full critical care support,” officials said. The toddler has a severe brain injury from the shooting.
Dr. Marcelo Malakooti said he has “cautious hope” for Swann’s recovery since the boy’s condition has not worsened since Tuesday, although his recovery will be long.
“We are taking every day at a time,” Malakooti said. “In general, every time we have a degree of brain injury this severe, we can expect the patient to have a debilitated future so we require support from medical technology … but again, there is no real way to know until we see how it goes in the next few days.”
Children are resilient and can heal more quickly, Malakooti said. The doctor said he puts Swann “in the camp of promising.”
The boy’s mother and grandmother are with him at the hospital and are receiving care to help them with the trauma from the boy’s shooting, officials said.
About 11 a.m. Tuesday, the toddler was in his child seat in a car going north on Lake Shore Drive when someone in another car fired shots, with one shot hitting the boy in his temple, police said.
The child has been identified as Kayden Swann, according to Chicago legal firm Legal Help Firm, which has been in touch with the toddler’s family. A spokeswoman with the organization said the toddler was hit in his temple, with the bullet exiting near his cheek.
A police report said the traffic altercation started as far south as 35th and Lake Shore Drive and continued as the cars traveled north. The report said the boy’s grandmother was in the front passenger seat of a white Lincoln and her boyfriend was driving, with the boy in a carseat in the back seat. The report described the other vehicle as an SUV.
Someone from the SUV began firing shots at the Lincoln near Roosevelt Road, and several shots hit the vehicle, along with the boy, according to the police report. It also cited a witness who said the grandmother’s boyfriend returned fire. The report also said the grandmother’s boyfriend was arrested at Northwestern Hospital for having a 9 millimeter Bersa handgun.
The shooting appeared to have resulted from a road rage confrontation, Central (1st) District Police Cmdr. Jake Alderden told reporters Tuesday. Police found multiple shell casings along the two-block stretch of the 900 through 1100 blocks of South Lake Shore Drive near Grant Park.
“It appears they’re completely unknown to each other and there was a dispute possibly over somebody not letting somebody into a lane,” Alderden said. “It appears it was an ongoing situation.”
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