CHICAGO (AP/WGN) — A 14-year-old boy was fatally shot on Chicago’s South Side just hours after another boy the same age was shot and killed on the city’s near West Side, police said Thursday.
No arrests had been made in the shootings Wednesday, police said.
For one of the families, it is not the first time they have been devastated by gun violence.
The first shooting happened just before 4 p.m. Police said a boy, identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office as Javion Ivy, was standing on the sidewalk when he was shot twice in the chest. Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan told reporters Thursday morning that witnesses told police they saw two people fleeing the scene. The boy was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead soon after.
Deenihan said the second boy was shot at about 8:50 p.m. in Englewood on the South Side. He said the boy was walking with a friend when someone in a dark-colored vehicle shot him in the head. The boy, identified by the medical examiner’s office as James Sweezer, was pronounced dead shortly before midnight.
Eleven years ago, relatives say Sweezer’s father was also shot and killed in the same area.
“It’s heartbreaking for him to be 14 years old,” Tracey Shields, James’ great-aunt, said. “It’s hard. I can’t imagine what his mom is going through, let alone what we’re going through.”
Police said the second shooting happened in the same neighborhood where earlier that evening, a 29-year-old woman sitting in her car was shot and killed by two males who climbed from their vehicle, walked over and opened fire before driving off. No arrests have been made in that shooting and police did not say if they believe the two slayings were related.
Superintendent David Brown said Chicago police have seized 284 guns so far in 2022.
“I think about those two young boys, and I think about their potential,” Brown said during a news conference. “They are two of Chicago’s children robbed of their futures, and it is unacceptable.”
While the investigations continue into the killings of the two teen boys, Sweezer’s family says they need more answers.
“I just hope and pray that whoever did this be caught because he’s an innocent child,” Shields said. “What could he have done? He didn’t deserve this.”