A Good Samaritan who stopped at the scene of a car crash following a road rage shooting on Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago Tuesday drove a wounded toddler and his family to a nearby hospital, authorities said.
The unidentified driver was critical in getting the wounded child treatment for his life-threatening injuries, doctors said.
The boy was shot in the head after a road rage incident led to shots being fired on the Chicago roadway just outside of the popular Grant Park.
Police say shots were fired for at least two blocks before the vehicle the child was riding in crashed near Monroe.
Witnesses reported hearing shots fired before the crash. A female passenger was then seen getting out of the vehicle with an infant while shouting "my baby," witnesses said.
The Good Samaritan, who was driving a Tesla, stopped after the crash, not knowing about the shooting.
"That Good Samaritan immediately drove the 2-year-old to Northwestern along with the two occupants," Cmdr. Jake Alderden said during a news conference.
The child was transferred to Lurie Children's Hospital in critical condition, according to authorities. Doctors later said the boy was in "grave condition" and in the hospital's intensive care unit on a ventilator with a "very serious bullet wound injury."
Hospital officials said the boy suffered a brain injury.
Doctors credited the quick transport from the driver with helping in the child's treatment.
"With any type of head injury, time is of the essence," said Marcelo Malakooti, medical director for the pediatric intensive care unit at Lurie Children's Hospital. "It’s very fortunate he was able to be brought to a trauma center.”
Police believe road rage may have sparked the shooting and that the drivers of the two vehicles did no know each other.
"There was a dispute possibly over somebody not letting somebody over into a lane of traffic," Alderden said.
An investigation was ongoing as of Tuesday morning. Police had not yet released information about a suspect, suspects or any vehicles that may have been involved, but said more information was expected.
Authorities said a weapon was recovered from someone who was inside the vehicle the child was riding in, but it remained unclear if that weapon was used.
Two left lanes of northbound Lake Shore Drive were blocked at Monroe Drive following the shooting and crash.
Check back for more on this developing story.