News Crime

Girl, 4, recovering from gunshot: 'She's in good spirits'

A day after being shot in the stomach, 4-year-old Khalise Weatherspoon was taking a few steps from her hospital bed and asking to speak with her 3-year-old brother who was with her when she was hit, according to her family.

"She's in good spirits, she wants to see her partner in crime, which is her little brother," her grandfather Richard Spires said Tuesday.

Khalise is the fourth child 7 or younger to be shot and wounded in Chicago this month.

She was on a scooter, playing with her brother and two older sisters near their grandmother's home near 71st and Rockwell streets in Marquette Park, when two gunmen stepped out of an alley and opened fire about 4:55 p.m. Monday, according to Spires and police. Khalise was struck in the abdomen and a 31-year-old man was also hit.

The girl was taken by a neighbor to Holy Cross Hospital, then transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was listed in good condition. The man suffered a gunshot wound to the buttocks and was taken to Holy Cross Hospital.

Police said no one was in custody and they had no description of the shooters.

Spires and other family members were at Mount Sinai today and said the girl's condition is improving.

"She walked a little bit down the corridor of the hospital, " Spires said. "She's in a little pain, she's hungry. The doctors don't want her to have anything in her stomach just in case there's fragments there."

Spires said the man who was also shot was walking out of a home toward his car when the shooting began. "They just opened, started shooting. It was a coward, senseless act. It's just crazy, man, it don't make no sense. It's real bad, man.

"My grandbaby doesn't even know what a gun is," he added. "I mean, it's crazy. We celebrated her fourth birthday just this past weekend."

The girl's aunt, Theda Smith, called the shooting "devastating."

"Innocent children are getting shot by guys that want to come in different areas or territories and shoot other guys," Smith said. "It's crazy."

For Bamani Obadele, whose children are friends with Khalise, the shooting left many questions.

"What do you say to this 4-year-old, a child that just turned 4, that's got a bullet hole in her stomach?" he asked. "What do I say to my four children and cousins, who play with this young girl and had to watch her laying in an alley by their house?"

He paused, and shook his head.

Three other young children have been shot and wounded this month:

• A 7-year-old boy was shot in the neck in Cole Park in the Chatham neighborhood on July 3.

• Jaden Donald, 5, was shot in the chest at Cooper Park in the West Pullman neighborhood early on July 4.

• Quianna Tomplins, 6, was shot while riding a scooter in the Roseland neighborhood July 20. She was at a memorial for a man shot to death on the same street five years ago. | Twitter: @ChicagoBreaking

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Prayers for Khalise
    Prayers for Khalise

    Khalia Weatherspoon, a sister of Khalise Weatherspoon, is held by her aunt, Tywisha Smith, 19, while they attend a prayer vigil at Rockwell and 71st Streets during a call for action to find her shooters. Khalise, who just turned 4, was riding her scooter with other children in the Marquette...

  • Search for shooter
    Search for shooter

    Volunteer Andrew Williams passes out flyers to residents at Rockwell and 71st Streets, hoping to identify the individuals who shot 4-year-old Khalise Weatherspoon on Monday. Khalise was riding her scooter with other children in the Marquette Park neighborhood when two gunmen stepped out of an...

  • Chicago shooting victims
    Chicago shooting victims
  • More Chicago Lawn crime »
    More Chicago Lawn crime »
  • Khalise Weatherspoon, 4.
    Khalise Weatherspoon, 4.
  • 'They shoot out here every day'
    'They shoot out here every day'

    Standing on Exchange Avenue at 81st Street, looking up at the police helicopter, was the first time I didn't feel like I was in Chicago.