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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.

chicagobreaking@tribune.com | Twitter: @ChicagoBreaking

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