Seven-year-old boy killed by gunshot while playing in his own yard

CHICAGO, IL – A tragic shooting claimed the life of a 7-year-old boy in a Chicago neighborhood on Tuesday, prompting a citywide search for the perpetrator. The incident occurred on the 2200 block of West Jackson Boulevard, where police discovered the young victim with a gunshot wound to his chest.

Officers immediately attempted life-saving measures and transported the boy to the hospital in a squad car. Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling expressed deep sorrow and frustration at the scene, emphasizing the urgent need to address the city’s rampant gun violence.

“This young life was taken before he had the chance to truly live,” Snelling said. “We are losing our children to senseless violence, and it’s imperative that we come together as a community to combat this issue.”

The boy had been on his way to visit a neighbor when he was struck by gunfire from a considerable distance, according to police reports. The shooting appeared to be random, adding to the community’s sense of vulnerability and fear.

As of Tuesday, Chicago has seen 17 juvenile fatalities due to gun violence this year. The Chicago Police Department reported 227 murders so far in 2023, a slight decrease from the 268 reported in the same period last year.

Mayor Brandon Johnson, who visited the scene, linked the city’s gun violence to long-standing issues of economic neglect and systemic problems. “The tragedies we are witnessing are a direct result of decades of disinvestment in our neighborhoods,” Johnson stated. “Poverty and violence are intertwined, and we must address these root causes to create safer communities.”

On Monday, Johnson announced the formation of a task force aimed at increasing investment in areas historically affected by systemic issues, hoping to create a more equitable and secure environment for all residents.