A 14-year-old boy was shot in the back outside Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, in Chicago's southwest side Ashburn neighborhood, following a conversation about gang affiliation, the boy's mother said.
Carmelita Rice said her son, Javier Cameron, is an honor student at CICS Ralph Ellison, a nearby charter school. He'd been in the area because he'd just graduated from Lionel Hampton Elementary School, which is right across the street from the academy, on the 7700 block of South Homan Avenue.
Rice said the area is normally safe and a place where children of all ages frequently hang out. At about 7:45 p.m. Thursdsay, Cameron was leaving to walk two "young ladies" home when he was approached by two boys who asked him if he was a part of a specific gang, Rice recalled.
When Cameron denied any knowledge or affiliation with the gang, the boy's pressed the issue, Rice said.
One of the boys pulled out a gun and fired but the weapon jammed, Rice said. Thinking it was a cap gun, Rice said her son turned to run away and was shot in the back. The bullet hit his liver, pancreas and small intestines and was lodged in his left side by his ribs.
"He's in a lot of pain," Rice said outside Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where her son had surgery. "This shooting, it's crazy. I used to not even let him go outside. Now I let him go outside right down the street where everybody plays at and he gets shot."
Police said the boys who shot Cameron ran away after the incident and were not in custody Friday morning.
Rice said Cameron is the youngest of three children and didn't know who shot him.
Sarah E Goode STEM Academy is a specialty school of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.