NORTH LAWNDALE — A 15-year-old boy was killed and nine other people were wounded Wednesday night in what police said were two separate attacks just minutes and a few blocks apart in North Lawndale.
In all, Chicago saw three mass shootings in one day Wednesday. The attacks left Chicagoans reeling.
“We need the community to help us,” pastor James Brooks, of Harmony Community Church, said at a Thursday news conference. “We need everybody — yes, everybody; it’s all of our responsibility to step out and say something. The objective is clear: We want to keep our babies safe. They deserve a right to live.”
Supt. David Brown asked people to step forward and tell police what they know about the violence so they can catch the gunmen.
“We are in a battle for the heart and soul of some of our communities,” Brown said. “And now is the time to speak up.”
The first shooting happened 6:01 p.m. in the 3300 block of South Douglas Boulevard, police said. The five victims were outside when gunmen walked out from an empty lot and fired shots, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said at the news conference.
The 15-year-old — police first listed his age as 14 — was hit in his head and taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Sun-Times identified the boy as Damarion L. Benson.
A 16-year-old who was also shot in his head was in “grave” condition at Mount Sinai Hospital. Three men — one 22 and the other two 24 — were shot and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where their conditions were not available but they were listed as “stable,” police said.
The gunmen got into a waiting car and drove off, Deenihan said.
No one was in custody.
Five more people, including four teenagers, were shot about six minutes later and a few blocks west at Douglas Boulevard and Ridgeway Avenue, Deputy Chief Cato Ernest said at a news conference.
At 6:11 p.m., multiple gunmen fired shots in the 1400 block of South Ridgeway Avenue, police said.
Two of the victims were sitting on a porch when someone in a car shot at them, Deenihan said. Those gunmen drove off.
Another two victims were driving in the area when they saw the shooting and tried to drive away, Deenihan said. A second group of gunmen fired shots at them, and the driver lost control and flipped his car.
When those two teens got out of their car and tried to run away, the second group of gunmen fired shots at them and hit them, Deenihan said.
A fifth victim — a 14-year-old boy — was getting into a car with his dad and was an “unintended target” who was hit during the chaos, Deenihan said.
An 18-year-old man was the most seriously hurt, shot in his upper body and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition, police said. A 15-year-old boy was shot in his right leg, a 17-year-old boy was grazed in his back, the 14-year-old boy was shot in his right arm and a 22-year-old man was hit in his right thigh. All were taken to hospitals in good condition.
Detectives are investigating, but they could not yet say whether the attacks were connected, Cato said. No one is in custody and no other details were immediately available.
Cato urged any witnesses with information, pictures or video of the shootings to come forward.
“We’re going to need an all-hands-on-deck approach, and that approach is going to involve our community,” Cato said. “We’re going to need your help. We do have friends out here. We have friends who came out here with support. We’re asking for more help. We’re asking for those who haven’t helped in the past.
“Unfortunately, we’re seeing this not only in our city, we’re seeing this in our country — mass shootings. I think all of us should be sad about what’s going in our country and in our city. And the best remedy for any of these shootings … is going to involve cooperation, not only from the Chicago Police Department, but city agencies and those who live in our community.”
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