Richard Ray

Police Say Shooting of 1-Year-Old Boy Not Believed to Be Random

The boy, who goes by Chase, was sitting in a car with his mother, grandmother and siblings when someone opened fire, his family said

Police on Friday said they now believe a shooting that left a 1-year-old boy critically wounded this week in Chicago was not a random shooting. 

"Detectives have been working around the clock on the shooting investigation that has left a 1 year old in critical condition on city's south side," Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted Friday afternoon. "We now believe this was not a random shooting and are working with the family to get additional information."

Guglielmi said an investigation was ongoing and no further information on what may have prompted the shooting was released. 

Devastated family members had previously said they believed the shooting was a case of mistaken identity. His grandfather said Chase was in the car with his mother, grandmother and siblings when the shooting took place.

“We need to put these guns down," the child's grandfather Melvin Freeman said. "The summer is coming, we need to put them down. Our babies are dying. We need to stop doing this, could we please put these guns down and let these babies live? Let these babies live."

The boy, who relatives said is named Dijon Walker but goes by Chase, was struck during a drive-by shooting on Chicago's South Side Thursday night.

The shooting took place at around 5:30 p.m. in the 9900 block of South Throop Street in the Longwood Manor neighborhood, according to police.

Chase was sitting in the passenger-side backseat of a parked car with four other people when a darker, older sedan pulled up alongside and opened fire, authorities said.

The little boy was shot twice in the head, and his mother drove him to Little Company of Mary Hospital. Officials said he was then transferred to Comer Children's Hospital where he was listed in critical condition.

"He's on life support and it doesn’t look good," Freeman said. "He was just a baby."

"He was walking, he was a fun, he was a fun baby," he continued, breaking down into tears. "He made your day."

No one was in custody in connection with the shooting, according to police, who said the investigation remained ongoing.

Chicago police said the only suspect description they had was that the gunman drove off in a dark, older model sedan. A CPD spokesman tweeted that detectives are looking at traffic and crime cameras hoping for leads.

"A 1-year-old baby, a 1-year-old! My message to the perpetrators, it won’t be long, I guarantee you," community activist Andrew Holmes said. "You won’t get away with this one. You won’t get away with this one."

Outrage over the shooting prompted St. Sabina's Fr. Michael Pfleger to post on Facebook that he was offering a $5,000 reward for information to help find the gunman.

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