Police said Friday that investigators have identified a person of interest who was wearing a "Jason" mask when he was involved in the shooting of a 7-year-old girl who was trick-or-treating on Halloween night on Chicago's West Side.
"The shooting yesterday was reprehensible," Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson said at a news conference Friday morning. "Those involved don't deserve to be in our city. So I'm disgusted but committed to doing everything we can to find the cowards that would engage in a gun battle in the early evening hours while children were trick-or-treating."
Johnson said police overnight identified one person of interest in the shooting using "very clear and very helpful" video obtained in the investigation. He said there was a "great possibility" that the person identified was the gunman, and that he was wearing a Halloween mask of "Jason" from the movie "Friday the 13th." [[564215152, C]]
Johnson said police knew, however, that there were multiple individuals involved in the shooting, which took place at around 5:30 p.m. in the 3700 block of West 26th Street in the city's Little Village neighborhood.
Authorities said the girl was on the sidewalk, walking eastbound on 26th Street while trick-or-treating with her family. Three males on the south side of the street began chasing a 30-year-old man in the same area, according to police, who said one of them then took out a gun and opened fire. [[564203522, C]]
The girl - who was dressed in a bumblebee costume, according to multiple reports - was shot in the lower neck and taken to Stroger Hospital where she remained in critical condition early Friday, according to police.
"That little girl clings to life this morning," Johnson said.
Authorities say the 30-year-old man was shot in the left hand and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was in stable condition. Police said Friday that it did not appear as though he and girl were together at the time of the shooting, which they believe was gang-related.
"Obviously the little girl wasn't the target," Johnson said. "We think two gangs were having a dispute and one of them shot at the other."
"She just was in the wrong place at the wrong time," he continued, adding that police believe the man who was shot in the incident was the intended target.
A video posted to social media Thursday showed the moment gunfire rang out, with people immediately fleeing the scene.
Warning: the following video could be disturbing to some viewers. Discretion is advised: [[564199762, C]]
Johnson said Friday that no one was in custody in connection with the incident, adding that detectives worked "through the night to follow leads and chase down every bit of video available along 26th Street."
He said multiple people stopped by the area police district to share information and that the station's phones were "ringing off the hook" with tips. Johnson thanked community members for their assistance, calling the response "overwhelming," but repeatedly urged anyone with more information to come forward.
"I know there are people out there that have details on who these individuals are and where they might be located. I'm asking anyone who knows anything to stand up and do the right thing," Johnson said. "Come forward so we can hold these offenders accountable. The individuals that did this cannot be trusted in the Little Village community or in any neighborhood in Chicago."
"This is a crime that touches all of us and there's no place for this savagery in our city," he added. "Together we can be one set of eyes and one set of ears. Together we can find the individuals responsible for this abhorrent crime and together we can bring them to justice."