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Gun violence plagues Chicago with up to 40 youth killed to date

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a close up of a plane: Chicago police crime scene tape marks the crime scene of a shooting on the South Side of Chicago, July 25, 2020. © Shannon Stapleton/Reuters Chicago police crime scene tape marks the crime scene of a shooting on the South Side of Chicago, July 25, 2020.

A 9-year-old boy, who was believed to be playing in a parking lot on Friday evening, was shot and killed in Chicago, police said.

Around 6 p.m. near the 900 block of North Cambridge Ave. in the Cabrini Green neighborhood, a Black man walked up to a group of people, which included the young boy, and opened fire, police said.

"A 9-year-old boy was senselessly struck by gunfire ... unfortunately, our victim was struck multiple times," said Chicago Police Department Chief of Operations Brian McDermott at a press conference on Friday night.

MORE: Children ages 7, 8, and 14 killed as gun violence mars holiday weekend in Chicago and Atlanta

The child was taken to a nearby children's hospital where he was pronounced dead an hour later, police said.

"At this time, I'd like to offer my sincerest condolences to the family of the victim. I'd like to say that anytime a child is a victim of senseless gun violence in the city of Chicago that it greatly saddens and effects us all," said McDermott.

a plane in the dark: Chicago police crime scene tape marks the crime scene of a shooting on the South Side of Chicago, July 25, 2020. © Shannon Stapleton/Reuters Chicago police crime scene tape marks the crime scene of a shooting on the South Side of Chicago, July 25, 2020.

Detectives are looking for video evidence and interviewing any potential witnesses.

The child was an unintended target and police do not know who the intended target was, McDermott said.

No arrests have been made. Police are encouraging the public to provide any information to help solve this crime by going to CPDtip.com.

The city of Chicago has been plagued with gun violence even during the coronavirus pandemic.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Thomas Gaston and Yasmin Miller, whose son Sincere Gaston was killed in a shooting on June 27, embrace at a vigil while speaking in Chicago, July 1, 2020. © Taylor Glascock/The New York Times via Redux Thomas Gaston and Yasmin Miller, whose son Sincere Gaston was killed in a shooting on June 27, embrace at a vigil while speaking in Chicago, July 1, 2020.

Since June 20, five children under the age of 11 were shot and killed in Chicago, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a research group that catalogs gun-related cases in the country.

Of those murdered children was 1-year-old Sincere Gaston, who was shot by a stray bullet on June 27 while riding in a car with his mother. No arrest have been made.

The nonprofit organization also found that 32 children under the age of 17 were shot and killed since January 5.

a group of people flying kites in the sky: Balloons are released during a vigil for Sincere Gaston, who was killed in a June 27 shooting in Chicago, July 1, 2020. © Taylor Glascock/The New York Times via Redux Balloons are released during a vigil for Sincere Gaston, who was killed in a June 27 shooting in Chicago, July 1, 2020.

During a press briefing at the White House last month, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany made a plea with the city of Chicago "for peace in our streets because far too many children have been lost."

MORE: 20-month-old boy, 10-year-old girl among 14 people fatally shot over weekend in Chicago: Police

A request for comment from the White House about the 9-year-old boy's death was not returned.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote on Twitter Saturday morning that "while our City has made progress in reducing violence in recent weeks, all of that is lost when we lose another child to gun violence."

"When a 9 year old's life is ended by a bullet, we must all be outraged. These deaths are not mere statistics. And prayers alone will not sooth [sic] a broken heart," wrote Lightfoot.

To date, across the country 743 children under the age of 17 were shot and killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Almost 2,000 children under the age of 17 nationwide were injured by gun violence, the database shows.

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