6-year-old shot on Far South Side

November 14, 2011 5:05:51 AM PST
A 6-year-old boy remained hospitalized Sunday night after he was shot on Chicago's Far South Side.

The shooting happened in the 1700-block of West Steuben just before 10 a.m. Sunday. Marshown Means was reportedly playing with his teenage uncle when he was shot in the chest.

Relatives say Marshown suffers from sickle cell anemia, and that he was lucky the bullet missed vital organs. Doctors have told the family his injuries are not life threatening. In fact, Marshown was able to talk to his uncle after arriving at Christ hospital, and told him how another 14-year-old uncle shot him.

"He said he wasn't playing cops and robbers. The little boy pointed the gun at him and said 'I hate you,' and shot him," said Marshown's uncle, Jerome Triplett.

Neighbors say the 6-year-old was in the house with his 14-year-old uncle and a family friend who was watching him. Marshown's mother Nalene Triplett says she believes the gun belongs to her father, and she believes her brother fired the shot.

"He called me on the phone and told me that he shot my baby in the chest, and the police snatched the phone from him and started talking to me. That's how I know," Nalene Triplett said.

Relatives say despite reports that the shooting was accidental, the 14-year-old should have known better.

"I don't know if it was a clip. It wasn't like a revolver gun so he knew what he was doing," Jerome Triplett said.

Marshown's mother says she wants to pursue charges against her brother.

"I told him, 'Stop showing my baby stuff like that.' He was always showing my baby guns," Nalene Triplett said.

Police say the case is still under investigation. They have not identified the 14-year-old as a suspect, and no charges have been filed. Although they are reportedly considering charges related to having an unsecured gun in the home.

Some neighbors who know the family say they're having a difficult time understanding what apparently happened.

"A 6-year-old to be harmed in such a terrible manner, I was shocked," said LaToya Wiles, a neighbor.

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