A 6-year-old girl was seriously wounded in a shooting in broad daylight on Chicago’s South Side Tuesday afternoon, becoming one of more than 20 children under the age of 13 to be shot in the city.
The shooting happened in the 6000 block of South Paulina in the city’s West Englewood neighborhood just after 1 p.m., according to police.
Police say the child, identified by family members as Tacarra Morgan, was playing in front of her home with her family on a sunny summer afternoon when shots rang out.
The shooting began a block away from the girl's home, when a suspect in a white SUV opened fire. When people started running from the scene, the shooting continued onto the next block and Tacarra was struck.
Dozens of bullet casings were reported at the scene.
Tacarra, who police initially said was 7 years old, suffered gunshot wounds to the stomach and was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in serious condition.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the child underwent surgery Tuesday afternoon and was listed in critical but stable condition.
"We are monitoring her progress very closely," he tweeted.
Family members said Tacarra is expected to recover.
Chicago Police First Deputy Superintendent John Escalante called the shooting a "heinous crime" and asked for community members who may know something to say something.
"This is unacceptable," he said. "This is a child, like any other child in the city of Chicago, who should be able to enjoy a warm summer day and play in front of her house and play on her porch with her family."
This is the third shooting in the 15th Ward in just one week.
Alderman Raymond Lopez echoed Escalantes call asking residents to report anything they might have seen.
"It’s truly horrifying for me to have to be here today yet again to discuss the violence in our city," Lopez said.
Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who is in Washington D.C. on a business trip for the department, directed all resources within the Bureau of Detectives and Bureau of Patrol be dedicated to "gathering community intelligence in the case," the department said.
"The level of gun violence on the south and west sides of our city is absolutely unacceptable, and it’s appalling when our children are caught in the crossfire of individuals who have no regard for human life," Johnson said in a statement. "To safeguard our neighborhoods and our children, it is imperative that we establish a culture of accountability for repeat gun offenders in Chicago and hold them responsible for senseless gun crime."
Anyone with information is being asked to call Area South Detectives at (312) 747-8271.