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Man With Disabilities Shot By Gang Members While Waiting For School Bus, Police Say

The man was waiting for a school bus with his family when gang members mistook them for rivals, police said.

Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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BACK OF THE YARDS — A 21-year-old man with disabilities is fighting for his life after he was shot three times waiting for a school bus.

At 6:38 a.m. Wednesday, the man — identified as Jesus Rega by ABC7 Chicago — was at a bus stop in the 4700 block of South Wolcott Avenue with his dad and a 15-year-old sibling when a trio of men fired shots, Cmdr. Don Jerome said at a news conference.

Police found the man lying on the ground, unresponsive, police said. He had been hit three times, once in his head.

The man was rushed to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, Jerome said.

Rega’s father Philip Rega Jr. told ABC7 he pulled his 15-year-old, who also has disabilities, to the ground, but he couldn’t get to his older son in time. He may go blind from his injuries.

“I was trying to tell him to get down, but he didn’t understand at the time,” Rega Jr. said, according to ABC7. “I tried to get to him as fast as I could. As soon as they stopped shooting, I ran to him and started holding the wound.”

The gunmen ran off.

Jerome said the area has long needed “increased focus” from police because of a “historic conflict” between rival gangs.

“Out investigation reveals these offenders likely thought the victims were rival gang members,” Jerome said. “But nobody in this family is involved in any gang affiliation.”

The shooters were described as three males in their teens to early 20s, and they were wearing dark-colored clothing, Jerome said. An investigation is ongoing.

“This is just a tragic incident,” Jerome said. “Nobody should be shot waiting for a school bus. We’re asking for the community’s help again.”

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