A 9-year-old boy was hit in the arm by crossfire Friday afternoon in Chicago, just around the corner from where his father was killed in a mass shooting four years ago.
Derwin Moore Jr. – called DJ by his family — was leaving a corner store with his mother and two siblings in the 400 block of East 111th Street when gunfire erupted around 12:10 p.m., hitting him and a 22-year-old man, according to police.
"We were caught in a massive crossfire," said the boy’s mother, Ashley Van, 30, fighting back tears. "I’m just grateful to God because that’s who saved my child. I’m just thankful my baby made it."
Police said they were looking for two gunmen who stepped out of a gray Dodge Durango and opened fire.
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DJ was in good condition at Comer Children’s Hospital, police said. The man was shot in the ankle and taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in fair condition, officials said.
Another family member said the boy was "doing okay. He’s scared. He’s a playful boy, likes to go swimming and record YouTube videos. He’s just a regular kid."
DJ and his siblings have a YouTube channel, Moore Family CMG, where they upload prank videos, dances, gameplays and reactions, according to the family.
As relatives waited outside the hospital, they talked about a shooting in 2017 in almost the exact same place that took the life of the boy’s father, Derwin Moore Sr.
Moore, 35, was standing with three other men near his home in the 11000 block of South Eberhart Avenue early on July 5 when several gunmen opened fire from a passing black SUV, according to police.
Moore and another man were killed, and the two other men were wounded in the wrist and arm.
His son is the fourth young child to be shot in Chicago this week.
On Wednesday night, a 7-year-old boy was shot while sitting in a parked car with his mother in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood, according to Chicago police. He was hit in the abdomen but was stabilized at a hospital.
On Sunday afternoon, a 7-year-old girl was killed and her 6-year-old sister seriously wounded shortly before 3 p.m. in the 6200 block of West Grand Avenue.
"Unfortunately we’re out here again," said Ald. Anthony Beale, whose 9th Ward covers the block where Friday’s shooting took place. "Another kid being shot with senseless gun violence here in the city of Chicago."
The alderman blamed Supt. David Brown for diverting officers to the downtown area and leaving his community more vulnerable. Beale said the 5th police district, which includes his ward, is down 120 officers.
"There’s no way we can continue to fight crime with those numbers," he told reporters at the scene. Beale said other areas of the city are experiencing the same problems "except downtown."
"Treat me like I’m downtown here in the community," he said. "Treat the rest of the city like we’re downtown."