A 7-year-old was shot in Chicago while trick-or-treating Thursday evening by a gunman targeting someone else, police said. The girl is in critical condition.
“This is unacceptable,” Chicago police spokesman Rocco Alioto said, according to NBC Chicago. “This was a 7-year-old girl that was trick-or-treating and happened to be shot because a group of guys wanted to shoot another male with a street full of kids trick-or-treating.”
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The shooting happened about 5:30 p.m. in the Little Village neighborhood on Chicago’s west side, and a 31–year-old man was also hit. He and the 7-year-old were on 26th Street when two males and a gunman opened fire.
The 31-year-old was hit in the left hand and the girl was hit in the lower neck, police said. There is no relationship between the victims.
In video posted by NBC Chicago, people are seen running before seven shots are heard, and then people are seen running from the area, at least one of whom was in a Halloween-style mask.
The girl was not the intended victim, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted. He called the violence a “senseless incident.”
Chicago has struggled with gun violence, although on May 1 the police department said that violent crime had declined by nearly 10 percent compared to the same period in 2018. In June, 52 people were shot and 10 people were killed in a single weekend.
In December, the city released crime statistics showing that there were fewer murders in 2018 than in 2017, which marked a second year of declining homicides after a surge of violent crime in 2016. There were approximately 557 murders in 2018 compared to 762 killings in 2016.
Guglielmi said Thursday that police will release crime statistics on Friday and that October continues month-over-month reductions in gun crime, which he said was thanks to stronger bonds with communities and an “unrivaled commitment” by police officers to get guns off the streets.