Chicago Violence

CPS football star seriously wounded by gunfire after Mount Carmel game

"They took out his right kidney. They took out his large intestines. They took out his colon, and his liver is damaged."

A 15-year-old standout football player was among the victims of Chicago's gun violence just three weeks into the new school year.

Damario Ferguson is recovering from a shooting that left him with severe injuries as he left a football game at Mount Carmel High School last week.

The attack was reported about 10:15 p.m. Friday in the 1500 block of East 64th Street, where officers found the 15-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the abdomen and a 16-year-old girl who’d been hit in the foot, according to Chicago police.

The shots rang out just north of Mount Carmel’s football field, about 35 minutes after the Caravan beat Morgan Park High School 22-12, according to Morgan Park coach Chris James.

It happened near a parking lot that’s a popular tailgating spot for fans of the area’s top-ranked high school football team.

One witness, a journalist there to cover the game, saw two apparent shooters running away from the scene near the school at 6410 S. Dante Ave.

“They were running right past my car,” the witness said. “I closed my computer so they wouldn’t see the light.”

No one was in custody Saturday morning. Police were reviewing surveillance video from the school grounds.

Ferguson was taken to Comer Children's Hospital in critical condition following the shooting.

“They took out his right kidney – they took out his large intestines …they took his colon…and also his liver damaged,” said his grandmother Rhonda Matthews. "It is heartbreaking, but I am going to be strong in the name of Jesus. The lord going to help us get through this. I don’t understand why people out here shooting innocent kids at a football game, that is ridiculous."

Ferguson was one of several children shot in Chicago over Labor Day weekend -the youngest victim just 6 years old.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, 12 children die from gun violence in America each day and another 32 are shot and injured.

A varsity football player at Percy Julian High School, football has been Ferguson's focus, but now he's forced to shift that to healing.

“He motivates, we never have a problem with him, he is a good,” his coach Clifton Cooper told NBC Chicago. “It is a shame something like this had to happen to a kid like himself.”

Matthews said her grandson has a very long road to recovery.

“He cannot attend school – he cannot play football …maybe next year,” she said.

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