A YOUNG girl in Chicago was shot on Tuesday night while playing outside in her front yard, police said.
The three-year-old was said to be in serious but stable condition after being shot in the neighborhood of West Englewood, located on the city’s South Side, around 8pm.
According to WLS-TV, the child was playing outside with other kids when a family member heard what they thought were fireworks shooting off.
The girl’s mother ran outside and “said she found her daughter lying face up with a bullet wound to her chest.”
The child was transported to the hospital, where she underwent surgery on Tuesday night.
Authorities said the three-year-old has since been talking.
Shootings throughout Chicago last weekend left at least two children dead, including a 10-year-old who was struck by a stray bullet that came through an apartment window around 9.40pm.
Preliminary information from police showed that gunfire came from a group of men who had been shooting at each other on the block, authorities said.
A one-year-old boy, identified as Sincere Gaston, who was riding in the back of a car driven by his mother as they traveled to the laundromat was shot when someone opened fire from another car, while the mom suffered a graze wound to her head.
Activists and local leaders have pleaded for state and federal support to combat violence in the Illinois city, as concerns grow about a violent summer ahead.
“It’s out of control where even innocent children are losing their lives,” neighborhood activist Raul Montes Jr, who planned a weekend vigil, said, calling for federal help.
State Representative La Shawn Ford, a Democrat in Chicago, said: “Violence is a result of poverty, and must be addressed with human services and support.”
Last week, President Donald Trump sent Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker a letter urging them to end the city’s “continued violence.”
The president cited an article from the Chicago Sun-Times which reported on “the most violent day in 60 years in Chicago” after 18 were killed in 24 hours on May 31.
Those numbers rose even higher last weekend as 104 people were shot and 14 were killed, including a three-year-old boy.
In response, Lightfoot tweeted: “I don’t need leadership lessons from Donald Trump.”
Trump wrote to the Democrats: “Your lack of leadership on this important issue continues to fail the people you have sworn to protect.”
“I am concerned it is another example of your lack of commitment to the vulnerable citizens who are victims of this violence and a lack of respect for the men and women in law enforcement.”
“More Americans have been killed in Chicago than in combat zones of Afghanistan and Iraq combined since September 11, 2001, a deadly trend that has continued under your tenure,” Trump said.
The president went on to say US taxpayers “send you millions in federal funding each year to support public safety in Chicago … however, these substantial sums of taxpayer money are not being turned into results.”
On Saturday, Lightfoot tweeted: “The pain of losing a child never goes away. Today, we lost more young people to the gun violence epidemic: a 17-year-old in Humboldt Park and a 1-year-old in Englewood.”
“As a mother, I am tired of the funerals. I am tired of burying our children.”
She continued: “It’s on all of us to double down on our all-hands-on-deck public safety efforts with police officers, street outreach teams, trauma support workers, community and faith-based partners.”
“We must ask ourselves: ‘What are we each doing to make this a season of bounty, not tragedy?”