Wearing a neon T-shirt stained with what appeared to be blood, a distraught man walked out of the Comer Children’s Hospital early Saturday and approached a group of men.
“Look guey, I carried him,” the man shouted in Spanish. He pulled on his T-shirt. He cursed in Spanish and yelled that someone shot his son. “He’s dead, guey,” the man yelled in Spanish.
His 10-year-old son was inside an SUV about 11:15 p.m. Friday in the 3500 block of East 97th Street in the East Side neighborhood when a gray sedan pulled up next to the SUV. Someone inside the sedan opened fire, striking the boy and a 31-year-old man.
The boy was identified as Gustavo Garcia, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Authorities originally said he was 9, but on Sunday corrected his age.
The SUV travelled about a half mile away toward the 3200 block of East 95th Street, near the bridge over the Calumet River, where police were responding to a fatal motorcycle crash that had occurred moments before, according to scanner traffic and a neighbor.
Raul Mendez, a 52-year-old who lives on the 3400 block of 95th Street, said he saw the SUV in the area near his house. He was inside, talking to someone on the phone, when he heard a man screaming.
“He was surrounded by police and I thought, ‘Maybe they were torturing him or something like that.’ But it turns out maybe that wasn’t what was happening,” Mendez said.
“He was screaming, ‘Tell me he’s not dead.’ I walked up to the bridge where he started screaming all over again,” he said. “He said, ‘They killed my son, they killed my son,’ in Spanish.
Shortly after the shooting occurred, a police officer sounded frantic as he spoke into his radio. “In a truck, he’s shot multiple times, his son, his son might be shot too,” the officer said, according to a recording of police scanner traffic. Someone could be heard screaming in the background.
“It’s right by the accident that’s on the bridge,” the officer said.
Ambulances soon arrived at the bridge, Mendez said, and took Gustavo to Comer Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:08 a.m. Saturday, according to the medical examiner’s office. Gustavo lived in the 8800 block of South Escanaba Avenue, the office said.
The 31-year-old man, who had been inside the SUV, was shot in the face, back and chest, police said. He was taken in critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center.
The boy had been inside the SUV with the 31-year-old man and his stepfather, the same man who yelled outside of the hospital that his son had been shot, said Andrew Holmes, a community activist.
Outside of Comer, the man who yelled the boy was his son walked in and out of the emergency entrance. At one point, he came out of the hospital and took off his T-shirt. He used the T-shirt to smack a pole. He looked up and then kneeled on the ground. He rested his head on the T-shirt.
A group of relatives could be seen inside the hospital. A group of women appeared shaken after a man spoke to them.
Relatives declined to comment.
The 10-year-old boy was the fourth child to die in a shooting in Chicago so far this year, according to data compiled by the Tribune. In total, 14 children 12 years old or younger have been shot so far this year, according to Tribune data.
Source: Chicago Tribune
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Inset Image: Eric Holey/Chicago Tribune