Six teenagers and children were among those wounded by gunfire in Chicago in a matter of hours Tuesday afternoon and early Wednesday morning, including one that left a 15-year-old dead just after he left school.
The first shooting happened around noon Tuesday as a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl were shot in the 6500 block of South Paulina. Police say the pair were walking down the street when someone in a black vehicle fired shots in their direction.
The 16-year-old was shot in the chin and the 17-year-old in the thigh, but both were listed in good condition at an area hospital. The vehicle fled the scene and police said no one was in custody as of Wednesday morning.
About an hour later, police said a 15-year-old high school student was shot and killed in Chicago’s Noble Square neighborhood.
According to authorities, the student was walking in the 800 block of North Greenview at approximately 1:14 p.m. when an unknown suspect walked up to him, pulled out a weapon and opened fire, striking him in the chest and the left arm.
The teen was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office identified the teen as 15-year-old Caleb Westbrook.
According to officials, Westbrook was a student at Rauner College Prep, located in the city’s West Town neighborhood.
“Unfortunately, we learned that this afternoon after dismissal a Rauner College Prep 9th grader, Caleb Westbrook, was shot multiple times in the vicinity of Noble Square,” a spokesperson for Noble Schools said in a statement. “Caleb was a 9th grader with so much personality. He loved to crack a joke and always brought positivity and light to his classmates and teachers. Caleb touched so many lives in his time at Rauner.”
No suspects were in custody, and police said they continue to investigate the shooting.
Just after 4 p.m., a 16-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl were on shot while walking in the 12200 block of South Lowe by someone in a dark-colored vehicle, authorities said.
The teen was shot in the right arm and the 11-year-old suffered a graze wound to the back. Both were listed in good condition Tuesday, police said.
At about 12:40 a.m. Wednesday, a 15-year-old was shot while riding in a vehicle in the 4900 block of South Prairie. The teen told police he heard shots and felt pain before discovering he was shot in the upper right leg.
Police said the teen was listed in good condition and no one was in custody in connection with the shooting.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to travel to Washington D.C. Wednesday for a mayoral conference that will at times center on strategies to fight violence. There, she said she plans to ask for additional federal support.
"We've got to look at the root causes of the violence," she said during an unrelated press conference Tuesday. "What is motivating these mostly young men to pick up a gun and solve, in many instances, a very petty dispute with a trigger pull?"