Boy shot trick-or-treating at North Side park

November 1, 2011 3:18:18 PM PDT
A 10-year-old boy is hospitalized after he was hit by gunfire while trick-or-treating Monday night in the Albany Park community on Chicago's Northwest Side.

The boy was wounded in the leg.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, no one was in custody for the Halloween night shooting, and there is concern in the community surrounding Ronan Park, the scene of the shooting.

The boy lives about a mile north of the park, which is in the 4700-block of N. Sacramento. Attempts by ABC7 to reach any of his families members have been so far unsuccessful. At last word he was listed in good condition at Children's Memorial Hospital.

Neighbors say, during the day, Ronan Park is a great place for kids and their parents; it is safe and fun. But when it gets dark, it's often a different story: That's when it can get dangerous.

"I'm in this park every day," said Kristin Hovious, a nearby resident. "I ride my bike through this park every day. I have a 4-year-old and a 3-year-old. I carry them behind me every day, and I'm not gonna change the way I live. I'm not at this park at night."

Police responded to 911 calls after shots rang out at the park, one hitting a 10-year-old boy in the leg.

Witnesses say the boy was trick-or-treating in costume with another family when he was hit just before 10 p.m.

"I was on my balcony across the street and I heard a number of shots go off, over 10," said witness Todd Stanton. "And then a slight pause, and then a bunch of screaming started, and a group of kids came running across Lawrence Avenue out of the park."

Stanton is one of a number of neighbors who called police, who responded almost immediately.

Those who live in the area say, while the area is generally safe, at night there seems to be increasing gang activity. Even though the area was filled with people enjoying the end of Halloween night, the shooter was apparently undeterred.

"I'm gonna keep my children close and keep a watchful out for everyone else's child," said Hovious, "because we're all in this together."

Police have not said whether they suspect the shooting may have been gang related. Some neighbors said they believe it might have been.

Police do not have a description of a suspect or anyone in custody.

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