The shooting happened the day Vice President Kamala Harris was expected to visit Chicago to speak about COVID-19 vaccine equity.
A 2-year-old boy was shot in the head during an apparent road-rage incident late Tuesday morning on Lake Shore Drive near Grant Park.
The boy was at Lurie Children’s Hospital in critical condition, police said.
A dispute over one car not letting the another car into a lane of traffic about 11 a.m. on northbound Lake Shore Drive just south of Soldier Field apparently led to the shooting, Chicago Police Cmdr. Jake Alderden said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Both cars continued north and shooting began on Lake Shore Drive just west of the Shedd Aquarium. Bullet casings were recovered over a two-block stretch as the cars proceeded north, he said.
The vehicle the 2-year-old was in crashed at Monroe Street and Lake Shore Drive, near the Chicago Yacht Club and Maggie Daley Park.
A good Samaritan in a passing Tesla saw the crashed car and drove the boy and a male and female occupant to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The boy, who was shot in the temple, was later transferred to Lurie Children’s Hospital, police said.
A handgun was recovered from an occupant of the crashed vehicle, though police couldn’t immediately say if it was used in the shooting or if it was possessed legally.
Alderden expected information about the other car involved in the shooting, which fled the scene, to be released soon.
A bullet hole could be seen in the rear passenger window of the crashed vehicle. Northbound Lake Shore Drive was closed until about 1:30 p.m. as police investigated.
The shooting occurred two hours before Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in Chicago to speak about COVID-19 vaccine equity.
CPD said it could not immediately say how many road-rage shootings happen in the city each year.
Illinois State Police said there have 56 expressway shootings in the Chicago area this year, a 167% increase compared to last year at this time. Between Jan. 1, 2020, through April 5, 2020, state police investigated 21 expressway shootings. State police couldn’t say how many of those shootings were road-rage incidents.
Police have responded to at least five other shootings this year in the Loop.
Last weekend two men were wounded in separate shootings on Lower Wacker Drive. On Easter, an 18-year-old man was shot about 7:10 a.m. while driving with his girlfriend in the first block of North Lower Wacker, police said. Struck in the neck, he was hospitalized in critical condition. Before dawn Saturday, a 29-year-old man was shot in his knee as he traveled in a vehicle on Lower Wacker, police said.
On March 19, three people were arrested for allegedly firing gunshots shortly after midnight in the first block of East Lake Street, police said. A hotel security guard gave a vehicle description to police, who found the car on Wacker Drive.
In October 2020, prosecutors said Lake Shore Drive became a “shooting gallery” when someone shot out the eye of a 19-year-old woman in a vehicle at Jackson Boulevard, just south of where the child was shot Tuesday.
Chicago police’s 1st District, which covers the Loop and South Loop, has seen two other shootings this year through March 28, according to police statistics. Overall crime in the district has fallen 35% over the same period last year, according to the numbers. Meanwhile, reports of sex assault and vehicle thefts have increased over the last year.
Contributing: Madeline Kenney