The story of a toddler who was shot in the head during a road rage incident earlier this week on Lake Shore Drive took another turn Thursday, as the man who was driving the vehicle the boy was in was charged with unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the case.
According to Cook County prosecutors, JuShawn Brown, 43, was behind the wheel of the vehicle when 7-month-old Kayden Swann was shot and seriously injured earlier this week.
Prosecutors allege that Brown, whom they identified as the child’s grandfather (although the child’s great grandfather says there is no formal relation between Brown and the boy), was carrying a gun without a concealed carry permit or a FOID card when the incident took place.
Prosecutors say that Brown was with his girlfriend and Kayden at the time of the shooting when a merging vehicle nearly hit them.
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According to the proffer, Brown and the other driver exchanged words, and then the situation escalated.
“The driver of the SUV produced a firearm and asked (Brown) ‘what he wanted to do about it’ while dangling the firearm,” the proffer reads. “Brown then placed his 9mm handgun on his lap. Brown then traveled through several lanes of traffic in an attempt to get away, while the SUV continued to follow closely behind.
“The driver of the SUV then fired several shots at (Brown’s) vehicle, striking it multiple times. One of the bullets shattered the rear passenger window and struck (Kayden),” the document continued.
Prosecutors went on to say that they identified at least 10 different shell casings in the incident, and none were fired from Brown’s weapon.
Bond was set at $5,000, and Brown posted $500 to be released from jail. The judge in the case says that he does not consider Brown to be a flight-risk. He is due back in court next week, according to official documents.
As those developments took place, Swann is moving around at a local hospital.
“Kayden is moving around a lot. They don’t want him moving around too much. He’s active and trying to pull the (breathing) tube out,” Clifton Marvel, Swann’s great grandfather, said. “They had to sedate him to keep him from hurting himself. He’s fighting.”
According to physicians, doctors were able to lift some of Swann’s sedation medication on Thursday.
“This procedure provides us with a better idea of his clinical state,” Dr. Marcelo Malakooti said. “We are pleased to see Kayden make some recovery, as he is demonstrating some return in brain activity.”
Doctors say that it is too early to make “meaningful predictions” about Swann’s long-term prognosis, but that they are optimistic about the clinical signs they are seeing at this time.