By Adam Sege and Jeremy Gorner
2:11 PM CDT, August 12, 2013
A 4-year-old girl was shot and seriously hurt on the Northwest Side in one of three shootings across the city that left eight people injured overnight, authorities said.
The first shooting happened shortly about 10:25 p.m., as the girl, Shyla Rivera, and four others sat inside a silver Nissan Altima in the Portage Park neighborhood, according to police.
One of the people inside the vehicle told police that they had been stopped at the intersection of Central Avenue and Irving Park Road and that they had noticed another vehicle, a beige or gray Infiniti G35, in the left turn lane at that intersection.
That vehicle moved over and proceeded north on Central ahead of the Altima, according to preliminary police reports. But as the Altima approached Cullom Avenue, about three blocks north of the intersection, the other car came alongside and a passenger leaned out the window with a gun and fired several shots at the Altima. After the shooting, the offenders' car continued north and turned east at Montrose Avenue, about two blocks away.
One bullet struck the girl in the hip; two others, ages 17 and 20, were also hit by gunfire, according to police. One of them is the girl's brother, police said.
The girl had been sitting in the center rear position of the car, with passengers on either side; the driver and another passenger were in the front of the car. The three passengers in the back seat were the only ones hit by gunfire, police said.
The driver of the Altima turned the car around and pulled into a parking lot near the intersection of Central and West Irving Park Road, police said.From there, paramedics took the girl to Lutheran General Hospital. The 17-year-old, who was shot in the left thigh, and the 20-year-old, who was shot in the left elbow and right leg, were both taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
The two males were initially in serious-to-critical condition at the time but were later treated and released, according to police an fire department officals. The girl was in good condition at Lutheran General where she was admitted for observation, police said.
The 4-year-old victim was reported in good condition at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where she is being treated for a gunshot wound to her right thigh.
The girl's uncle, Anthony Matos, 30, described his niece as a "sweetheart" who is very outgoing.
"She's pretty much like a princess. She gets everything she wants,” he said outside the family home on the Northwest Side.
Matos said his niece was tagging along with her two older brothers as they drove two friends home.
"She was just going for a ride. She always follows her brothers' footsteps," Matos said.
Matos stopped by the crime scene and said the car driven by one of his nephews was shot up.
"I just hope they get caught," he said of the gunmen. "Karma comes back to you. It will bite you."
Following the shooting, police blocked traffic on Central between Hutchinson Street and West Cullom Avenue. Officers also guarded the Altima, which remained parked in front of a 7-11 with at least nine bullet-sized dents visible in the passenger's side.
While the shooting remains under investigation, it appears likely the shooter mistook at least one of the car's occupants for someone else, a police source said. The injured occupants are not gang members, and no road rage incident preceded the shooting, police said.
Police found at least five shell casings at the scene and believed the shooter used a 9-millimeter handgun.
Police said that the Altima had just left an area about 4 miles southwest of where the shooting occurred and was headed to a home about a mile away from the shooting scene to drop off one or more of the passengers.
In a separate shooting that happened minutes later on the South Side, three people were hurt when a shooter emerged from a gangway and opened fire in the 9000 block of South Ada Street in the Brainerd neighborhood, Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Ron Gaines said.
A 17-year-old boy was shot in the shoulder and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, and a 19-year-old man was shot in the thigh and taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital, police said. A 23-year-old man was also grazed in the head and taken to St. Bernard Hospital.
All three were listed in fair condition.
In a third shooting, a 21-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man were shot about 3:45 a.m. in the 1400 block of West 84th Street in the Gresham neighborhood, authorities said. Police believe the two were sitting in a park when someone opened fire, striking the man in the leg and the woman in the stomach.
Both people were taken to Advocate Christ, where their conditions were stabilized.
No suspects were in custody as of early this morning.
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