Two people who were shot while sitting in a South Chicago living room just after midnight on New Year's Day marked the first shooting of 2021 in the city, according to authorities.
Police said the shooting happened at 12:12 a.m. in the 8700 block of South Buffalo when shots were fired from outside.
A 51-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman, who were sitting inside the living room of a home, were struck by the bullets.
The man was shot in the head and taken in critical condition to University of Chicago Medical Center. The woman suffered a graze wound to the head and was also taken to the hospital in critical condition.
A man told NBC 5 in Spanish the woman is his sister, and that he’s visiting from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was driving to Chicago when he heard about the shooting. He said his family is in shock—still trying to process everything that happened overnight.
Multiple neighbors told NBC 5 they didn't know the victims, but heard the gunshots.
“It’s pretty crazy, it’s scary,” said one neighbor, who asked not to be identified. “It make me think—is it safe for us to step outside?"
Another neighbor said for that same reason, he and his son have to be extra careful on New Year’s Eve.
“I know a few times people get shot from just stray bullets,” said the neighbor, Delante. “Just to be on the safe side I just tell my son, hey, let’s just lay down on the floor and just watch TV just in case something comes through by accident or on purpose.”
Delante said as a father, he has to do whatever it takes to protect his son.
“...Bad things...can happen whether you know it or not," he said. You just gotta be safe on your end and making sure you and your loved ones are okay.”
The early morning shooting serves as reminder of the ongoing violence in the city.
"It’s kinda sad though that you can’t really bring your new year to like some good news other than just somebody getting hurt on purpose or on accident,” Delante said. "“But I still got to find a way to put a smile on his face and let them think it’s going to be a good year even though it started off terrible.”
Police said no one was in custody as of Friday afternoon, and an investigation remained ongoing.
The pair were among 10 people shot so far this holiday weekend, including two people who were killed.