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Boy, 2, killed in Chicago gang hit

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 15/02/2017 Aamer Madhani
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks at a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, in Chicago. Police on Tuesday were investigating a gang related shooting that left a 25-year-old man dead and critically injured a 2-year-old boy and 20-year-old woman. © Teresa Crawford, AP Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks at a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, in Chicago. Police on Tuesday were investigating a gang related shooting that left a 25-year-old man dead and critically injured a 2-year-old boy and 20-year-old woman.

A two-year-old boy and 25-year-old man were killed — and a pregnant woman was wounded — on Tuesday in what authorities suspect was a gang-related shooting, according to Chicago Police.

No one is in custody for the shooting, which occurred in broad daylight and was streamed on Facebook Live by one of the victims, police said.

Police said the adult male victim was a known gang member. The man and the boy, who was identified as Lavontay White, as well as a 20-year-old woman, were shot while sitting in their car on the city's West Side, police said. 

The woman was described by police as the boy's aunt, and the man's girlfriend. She was wounded in the stomach, and was listed in fair condition.

Paramedics were able to revive the boy when they arrived at the scene, but he died from his injuries shortly after. Lavontay became the third child in less than three days to be killed or gravely injured in a shooting in Chicago, which is mired in a surge of killings and gun violence that the city has not seen in nearly 20 years.

“We have yet another innocent child that can lose (his) life over senseless gun violence,” Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at the scene of the shooting shortly before police announced that Lavontay had died from his injuries. “I am sick of it, and I know Chicago is sick of it.”

Investigators were reviewing surveillance video from the area, and investigators had promising leads about the gunman, Johnson said. Police said they were also reviewing Facebook Live video that the woman was streaming when the victims were ambushed.

In the Facebook video, the man and woman can be seen singing along to music as they drove into an alley, and the child is seated in the back of the car. About three minutes into the livestream, the sound of a series of shots can be heard. The woman then runs from the car into the home of someone she appears to know.

“They shot at us!” the woman says as she ran through the home. "I got a bullet in my stomach."

Someone inside the house can be heard saying, “Call 911!”

Lavontay White Jr. © Proporcionado por THX Medios S.A. Lavontay White Jr.

Detectives believe the adult male victim had been in some type of dispute with the gunman, according to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. Investigators were able to interview the woman, he said.

The triple shooting occurred in the midst of a spike in violence in the nation’s third largest city, which has caught the attention of President Trump. The city recorded more than 760 murders and 4,300 shooting victims last year. This year is off to a nearly equally grim start, with more than 60 murders and 300 shooting victims, according to police data.

Trump has repeatedly suggested over the early weeks of his presidency that he may order some type of federal intervention to help stem the violence, if city officials are unable to stop the bloodshed themselves. Earlier this month, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms confirmed that it was weighing adding more agents to the agency's Chicago field office.

The adult male, who authorities have not yet identified, was shot in the head and stomach, while the boy was wounded in the head.

The death of the toddler marks the third time in the last several days that a child in Chicago has been a victim of the ongoing violence.

On Saturday, a 11-year-old girl and 12-year-old girl were shot in the head in separate incidents on the city’s South Side.

The 11-year-old, Takiya Holmes, who was shot while sitting in her mother’s car, succumbed to her injuries earlier on Tuesday. Kanari Gentry Bowers, 12, who was shot as she played basketball with friends, remained in critical condition Tuesday evening. Police believe both girls, who were shot just a few miles apart from each other on the city's South Side, were hit by stray bullets and were not targeted.

Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have repeatedly blamed the violence on a combination of increased gang activity and weak gun laws that they say don't do enough to dissuade convicted felons from carrying and using weapons. Both repeated their calls to state lawmakers to strengthen penalties for repeat offenders.

“These shootings must be a turning point for our city,” Emanuel said. “Anyone with information about these crimes owes it to the families of these children to come forward.”

Johnson told reporters his "gut feeling" was that the shooter in the killing of two-year-old Lavontay will also turn out to be a repeat gun offender.

“Our children shouldn’t have to keep paying the price of our inability to hold repeat gun offenders accountable for their actions,” Johnson said.

Contributing: Melanie Eversley and Steph Solis

Follow USA TODAY Chicago correspondent Aamer Madhani on Twitter: @AamerISmad

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