Pair Charged in Shooting of 3-Year-Old Held Without Bail

Police say toddler was an innocent bystander in gang-related shooting

Two men charged in connection with the shooting of a 3-year-old boy were ordered held without bond Monday.

Alger Sanchez, 19, and Anton Aseves, 22, were charged Sunday with aggravated battery-discharge of a firearm and two felony counts of attempted murder in the first degree.

The toddler was shot around 10:15 p.m. in the 4400 block of South Sacramento Avenue on Friday.

Police say Sanchez got into a beef with another man over gang affiliations, then chased him into a gangway behind the house, followed by fellow gang member Aseves.

"My understanding was that the mom tried to stop him. The whole thing kind of spilled out to in front. Sanchez threw a bottle and said, 'Shoot them.' That's when Anton Aseves fired the weapon," Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.

The bullet struck the young boy in his abdomen and exited through his hip, officials said.

The boy was hospitalized in critical condition but was expected to survive.

"You know it's one of those situations where it's a group of people," police commander Eugene Roy said. "It's really impossible to tell with any degree of certainty who he was shooting at. The fact is, he was shooting at a group of people who he had to reason to shoot. That's what it comes down to."

Sanchez's mother, Patricia Sanchez, attended court and apologized for her son.

"I want to say I am sorry. I love my child and I feel ... I don't know what happened ... sorry," she said.

Aseves has a lengthy criminal record that includes burglary and having two shanks while in the Cook County Jail. He was placed on parole April 24.

McCarthy says the longer sentences for illegal gun use he is recommending could have prevented this shooting.

"In this case, Eseves is on parole and should not have been out on the street. It's that simple," McCarthy said.

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