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7 shot, including 3-year-old, in West Englewood attack: 'What kills me is all the innocent people hit'

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 8/18/2018 Madeline Buckley

© Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune The continuous pop of gunshots cleaved through the neighborhood, one after another, and the Rev. James Sharkey's military instincts kicked in.

He crouched to the ground, not daring to look up until the sounds abated.

When the Vietnam-era veteran finally peeked over the ledge of his porch, he saw a white SUV shoot down the street.

The Friday night attack wounded seven people in the South Side's West Englewood neighborhood, Chicago police said, including a 3-year-old boy who was shot in the shin.

Six of the people shot were standing on a sidewalk around 8 p.m. in the 1600 block of West 65th Street when they were hit by gunfire, police said. The seventh person shot, a 38-year-old woman, was grazed on the arm while in a backyard. She was treated on scene.

Three others were treated at St. Bernard Hospital: a 30-year-old man stabilized with a wound to the leg, a 29-year-old man stabilized with a wound to the calf and a 26-year-old man stabilized with wounds to the hand and leg.

A 30-year-old man shot in the back was in serious condition at Mount Sinai Hospital, and a 27-year-old man shot in the torso was stabilized at University of Chicago Medical Center.

As police stood guard over the crime scene that had calmed after the victims were rushed to area hospitals, Sharkey and his friend settled back into their evening, their porch chairs returned to their proper place after they were knocked askew during the gunfire.

Sharkey lit a cigarette, the orange glow briefly illuminating the porch on a dark street with few streetlights. His friend twisted a baseball cap in his hands, emblazoned with a Vietnam veteran moniker.

"What kills me is all the innocent people hit," Sharkey said.

The child, stabilized at Comer Children's Hospital, is among at least 89 children 15 and younger shot in Chicago attacks so far this year. On Thursday night, a 15-year-old boy was killed, and a 14-year-old boy wounded in a shooting during a basketball game in Garfield Park.

"If the shooting hadn't happened, there'd be kids playing out here," Sharkey's friend said.

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