CHICAGO, IL – Cecilia Thomas wasn’t quite six months old when she became one of the youngest victims of Chicago’s rampant, endless cycle of violence.
The five-month-old was killed in a drive-by shooting when a bullet hit her in the head as she sat in her father’s car Friday night, police said.
Baby Cecilia was being driven by her father to her mother’s home about 6:45 p.m. in the 7700 block of South Shore Drive when another car approached and at least one occupant opened fire on the vehicle she was in, fatally striking her in the head, WLS-TV reported.
Chicago shootings over the weekend have left at least 25 shot, five fatally, police said. https://t.co/AD7KE4486l
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) June 27, 2022
An area business owner said Cecilia’s father immediately pulled the car over and summoned help when he heard his daughter crying. The baby was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, authorities said.
A 41-year-old man in a separate car drove himself to the University of Chicago Hospital with a gunshot wound to the eye area, police said. He was listed in good condition.
No suspects have been identified nor any arrests made, the Chicago Police Department said.
At least a dozen grieving relatives gathered outside Comer Children’s Hospital when they heard the news.
A nurse at the hospital who identified herself only as Jackie told ABC7 WLS-TV that even though she herself has endured the consequences of gun violence, this was especially tragic. She said:
“I’ve never in my 61 years of life seen anything like this.”
The nurse said she has lost two of her own sons to gun violence and another son was left paralyzed from a shooting. She said:
“You never know what it’s like to have a broken heart until you go through it.”
The baby’s mother told a crisis responder that her daughter was being brought home to her at the time of the shooting.
Community activist Andrew Holmes told FOX 32 Chicago that the suspect vehicle is possibly a red Chrysler and the shooter is a female. He said he hoped surveillance cameras or witnesses would be able to identify her further and bring her to justice. He said:
“It’s supposed to have been a female shooter, and my message to her, it won’t be long because I hope one of these cameras or somebody got her information and knows how she looks.
A five-month-old girl was among at least four people killed and 14 others wounded since Friday evening in shootings across Chicago. https://t.co/673yZiw6Ri
— FOX 32 News (@fox32news) June 26, 2022
“You just took this baby’s life. This baby was an infant, this baby didn’t do nothing to you. We understand it may have been two cars shooting back and forth at each other.”
“We’re not going to stand for this in this city. We need this city to do what we got to do to put eyes on this young lady, on this driver until both of them have been arrested because this is disgusting, this is a disgrace, this is as low as you can get.”
Holmes told ABC7 that he had spoken with the baby’s mother. He said:
“I spoke with this mother. Yes, she’s very distraught. That’s a 5-month old baby. Nine months [the mother] carried that baby, nourished that baby. And it takes a damn fool to discharge that weapon and take a baby’s life.”
Ja’Mal Green, another community activist who is running for mayor, said he is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the baby’s killer. Green issued a statement that said:
“A 5-month-old girl was just shot in the head in Chicago. My heart breaks for this young girl & her family. I am offering a $5,000 reward NOW to someone who comes forward to give answers that can lead to an arrest & conviction!
“$2,500 when they are arrested, $2,500 when convicted. It’s time to get to the root of this violence so we can create a better city for our Children.”
The shooting occurred during another violent weekend in Chicago, where at least 20 people were shot, four fatally, in a string of separate incidents, according to CPD officials.
The shootings followed last weekend’s gun violence that left 61 people shot, 10 fatally, police said.
Investigators were reviewing video from surveillance cameras in the area, hoping to find footage of the incident that could help them identify the shooter, officials said.
Early Friday morning, the 18-year-old brother of Fox News contributor Gianno Caldwell was shot and killed in the 11400 block of S. Vincennes. Chicago police said Sunday that no arrests had been made in connection with the shooting that also wounded two people.
Among the other fatal shootings this weekend, a 32-year-old man was killed after getting out of his car in Chicago’s Little Italy, police reported. The victim was shot twice in the chest and taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. No arrests have been made in that shooting.
Two men were killed in separate shootings Friday night that were three miles apart, police said.
A 21-year-old man was shot multiple times in the Princeton Park neighborhood on the South Side, according to police. An hour earlier, police discovered a 45-year-old man who had been shot multiple times in the Pullman neighborhood. He died later at a hospital. Investigators were still working both cases.
Despite the weekend shootings, homicides and shootings are down in 2022 from the year before. So far this year, there have been 282 homicides, down 11% from 316 homicides for the same period last year, and 1,148 shootings, down 17% from 1,381 shootings last year, according to the Chicago Police Department.
Gun-controlled Chicago: Toddler, 2, and rapper among 42 shot in weekend violence that left five dead
May 16, 2021
CHICAGO, IL – This weekend brought cause for celebration to much of the country following the recent loosening of pandemic restrictions, but for the people of Chicago, it was just another violent weekend.
At least 42 people were shot this weekend in the city, and five of them have died. The shootings include the wounding of a toddler injured in a drive-by shooting.
— NEWS MAKER (@NEWS_MAKER) May 16, 2021
Just before 7 p.m. on Friday night, someone drove up alongside a car the 2-year-old girl was riding in the 2800-block of 26th Street and fired into the vehicle, striking the child.
The toddler was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital for a gunshot wound to the leg and is listed in good condition, according to police. No one has been charged in the shooting.
The first fatal shooting of the weekend occurred at 1148 p.m. on Friday when police heard gunshots and observed an 18-year-old man running carrying a rifle. The man had been shot in the back and in the arm.
The man was transported to Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.
At least five people have been killed, and 29 others wounded in shootings across Chicago since Friday evening, including a 2-year-old girl who was shot in Little Village on the Southwest Side.https://t.co/p9fQnMco3d
— WBBM Newsradio (@WBBMNewsradio) May 16, 2021
A 32-year-old man was located near the scene with a gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced dead at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital.
In a multiple shooting incident, three men were shot in a parking garage at 0:50 a.m. on Saturday. Police reported they discovered the men with gunshot wounds, and medics transported them to area hospitals. The ages were 20, 27, and 28 years old.
Social media reported that Chicago rapper Lil Reese was reportedly one of the victims shot during the incident.
The 20-year-old was shot in the knee, and his condition is unknown. The two other men had multiple gunshot wounds and were listed in critical condition.
— Sandra D. King, MS.Ed.Tech (@sandra_king2) May 16, 2021
At 6:37 p.m. on Saturday, two men were shot and wounded in the 400 block of East 63rd Street in West Woodlawn. They were in a car when at least one assailant came up and fired shots.
Around 4 a.m. on Saturday, two people were killed and three others were injured in a shooting at a yard party in Auburn Gresham. The shooting took place around 4 a.m. in the 7800 block of Loomis Boulevard.
Police reported that a man opened fire on the party and then fled the scene.
Eighty-four people have been shot in the last 7 days. Total Chicago shootings for 2021 are 1,215 shot, 211 of which died. Eighty-one point 6 percent of all shooting victims were black, 14.1% were Hispanic and 4.4% were listed as “white or other.”
— Pog (@OSINT220) May 16, 2021
A 38-year-old man was shot in the thigh and a 60-year-old man was shot in the face. They were both taken to U of C Medical Center. Their condition was not known.
The weekend’s violence is nothing new to city residents. Last weekend was much of the same with 26 people hurt and five people killed in shootings.
When Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) took office in 2019, she vowed to stop gun violence in the city.
But cops are the problem.
2-year-old Chicago girl shot near courthouse at 26th and California – Chicago Sun-Times https://t.co/YUEt1U5PQM
— John Steigerwald (@Steigerworld) May 16, 2021
During her inaugural address, Lightfoot said that she has “no higher calling” than restoring safety and peace in Chicago’s neighborhoods.
She stressed during the speech:
“Enough of the shooting. Enough of the guns. Enough of the violence.”
Despite her promise, after three years of falling homicide totals, 2020 ended with 769 homicides, 274 more than the previous year and the most since the 784 homicides in 2016.
The latest shooting victim figures show 2020 ended with 4,033 shooting victims compared with 2,598 the year before.
A 2-year-old girl was shot Friday evening in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood. https://t.co/nHzUsEc5sl
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) May 15, 2021
In a column written for the Joyce Foundation last month, Chicago journalist and author David Mendell wrote:
“Lightfoot, after all, came into office 23 months ago proclaiming that ending Chicago’s unyielding neighborhood violence would be her top priority, only to see homicides jump 50 percent during her second year in office.
“The mayor has become the face of the city’s inability to tackle the issue that never seems to leave us— neighborhood violence and murdered young people.”
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