As the 7-year-old Chicago girl who was shot on Halloween night continues to recover at Stroger Hospital, a source tells NBC 5 that her family was likely discriminated against when they arrived at the hospital, forcing them to wait outside for hours in the cold. The hospital has since apologized.
Giselle Zamago was rushed to the hospital last Thursday night after allegedly being shot by a 15-year-old gang member while she was trick-or-treating in a Minnie Mouse costume in the Little Village neighborhood. The suspect reportedly intended to shoot a rival gang member, prosecutors said in court.
A source told NBC 5 that a Chicago police captain tried to vouch for the Zamago family when they were told to wait outside the hospital, but hospital police were undeterred.
Chicago police ultimately ordered cars for the family to sit in, so that they could stay out of the cold, wet weather.
On Friday, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Lori Lightfoot visited the girl at the hospital and Lightfoot shortly expressed her outrage over the shooting during an interview. NBC 5 was told she was furious over how the family was treated at the hospital.
Stroger Hospital spokeswoman Caryn Stancik issued a statement Tuesday saying, “...we have a policy that allows for visitor restriction when a high profile trauma incident occurs, or when incidents have the potential to pose increased risk to patients and staff. We misapplied this policy last Thursday evening and have apologized to the family.”
As of Tuesday evening, there was no comment from the mayor’s office and the victim’s family also declined to comment.
Giselle's once grave condition has been upgraded to fair, health officials said on Monday. She has been resting and watching her favorite TV shows. Her family has said she could remain in the hospital for up to two weeks.
"It's not fair, but thank God, people have prayed for my girl," Giselle's aunt Sanjuana Zamago said of the shooting in an interview over the weekend. "She's good now, and we hope that nothing like this happens again."