The shooting is just the latest what's been a violent and deadly start to the long holiday weekend in Chicago.
At least six people have been killed, including a teenager shot by Chicago police.
Thursday night's shooting took place around 7:30 p.m. in the 300-block of East 85th Street in the city's Chatham neighborhood.
It was on this very block in 2010 that Chicago police officer Thomas Wortham was shot and killed. Following that incident, Cole Park has been used for a number of anti-violence events, and it was there Thursday night that the 7-year-old victim was having a picnic with his family when bullets started flying.
The shooting happened at Cole Park across the street from Elliott Powell's home.
"I'm just kind of lost for words right now," Powell said. "It's just an outrageous thing that's gone on."
Police say a 7-year-old boy was shot in the neck.
Community activist Andrew Holmes says he spoke with the child's grandmother, who said the family was having a July Fourth picnic in the park when someone drove up and fired shots from a vehicle.
"Get the perpetrator off the streets," Holmes said. "Identify him. We need the gun that was used in shooting, and they definitely need to find the car so they don't hit another child. If they get away with this one, you know it's going to happen again."
Holmes says this shooting was at least the fourth he'd responded to on this violent July 4.
Shortly after 1 p.m.Thursday afternoon near 57th and State, Chicago police shot and killed 17-year-old Christian Green after police say Green ran from officers who tried to question him.
Pat Camden is a spokesperson for the police union and says Green was armed.
"Individual at that point gun in hand pointing it at the officer,' Camden said. "The officers fire in defense of their life."
But Thursday night, Green's brother is disputing the police account.
"I know for a fact he didn't point no gun at no police," said Travail Fowler. "I know for a fact that's not my brother."
And neighborhood residents say they believe Green was merely lighting off fireworks.
"I heard he, they thought it was a gun, but it was a firecracker, like a Roman candle or something. He pulled it out, and police just started shooting," said Keaara Payton.
"It's got nothing to do with fireworks," said Camden. "It's got to do with an illegal weapon being carried illegally by an individual who points it at the police putting them in danger of their life."
Camden said a semi-automatic weapon was recovered at the scene. The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating the shooting.
Chicago police say the 7-year-old boy in the Chatham neighborhood was shot twice in the neck area. Police continue to search for two unknown suspects who fired the shots and drove away. There is no description of the suspects or vehicle.