Chicago Violence

Boy, 7, Shot to Death During July 4 Celebration in Humboldt Park: Police

A 26-year-old woman was also injured in the shooting incident

A 7-year-old boy was shot and killed on Chicago's West Side during a Fourth of July celebration Saturday night, police said. 

Amari Brown was standing on the sidewalk with his father watching a fireworks spectacle just before midnight in the 1100 block of North Harding in the Humboldt Park neighborhood when gunfire erupted, striking Amari and a 26-year-old woman, police said. Both victims were shot in the chest.

The boy's father said he thought the sound of gunfire was just fireworks, and he didn't realize Amari had been shot until he called out for him.

The bullet that struck Amari was intended for his father, a documented gang member who has been arrested 45 times on gun and theft charges, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said in a press conference Sunday.

Amari and the 26-year-old woman were transported to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital, where the 7-year-old was pronounced dead, according to police. The woman was listed in stable condition. 

The two victims were not related, authorities said. 

Amari's family say the little boy was a "jokester" and acted like a typical 7-year-old who loved to run and play. They said the best way to describe him is "a sweet, sweet little boy." 

No one is in custody for the shooting. 

Activist Pastor Ira Acree, of Greater St. John Bible Church on the West Side, has called for the killer to turn himself in and offered a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the offender's arrest. 

"This is a travesty of epic proportions when an innocent baby loses his life," Acree said. "We need all hands on deck to get to the bottom of this. We must not become immune to this madness."

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