Darrell Chambers charged in Cooper Park shooting that wounded 5-year-old Jaden Donald

July 6, 2013 10:00:00 PM PDT
The suspect in the shooting of a 5-year-old boy appeared in court Sunday while family and friends held a vigil outside the hospital where the boy is recovering.

The 5-year-old was not the target of the shooting. There were another two males that were injured in the park that evening. Because of that, the suspect is now charged with three counts of attempted homicide and three counts of aggravated battery.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, the boy's mother said she is grateful there has been an arrest made, but her focus is on her son's recovery.

As a little boy fights for life his congregation prays for a successful recovery.

"I really want people to know, this is not an Englewood problem. This is not a South Side problem. It is all of our issue," said Pastor Dan Willis, Lighthouse Church of All Nations.

Five-year-old Jaden Donald is still on a respirator after being shot while playing in a south side park on July 4th. Speaking at a vigil outside Christ Children's Hospital earlier, his mother says she's still at a loss to understand what happened.

"It don't take but a second, being at the wrong place, at the wrong time," said Jasmine Donald. "In a park where kids are playing shouldn't be the wrong place for a child to enjoy themselves."

She also had a message for 24-year-old Darrell Chambers, the man identified as Jaden's shooter and now charged with attempted homicide.

"Where was your head at? What kind of person with what kind of morals and values?" she asked.

At services Sunday Gov. Pat Quinn spoke of Jaden as he lobbied the congregation to support the amended conceal carry bill he sent to the state legislature last week.

Illinois faces a July 9 deadline to legalize concealed carry, but the governor does not approve of the bill as passed, and says it would only serve to worsen the gun violence that plagues Chicago.

"To have 67 people shot just since last Wednesday evening in one city alone and eleven of them killed that should be an alarm bell to all of us that we need strong laws that protect the public safety, especially when it comes to guns," Quinn said.

For those praying at Jaden's vigil, the message is simpler than that.

"People are not disposable," said churchgoer Adonnis Williams. "What you are doing is killing your culture, your killing your heritage."

As for Jaden's condition, his mother said that while he might require further surgery and is still in serious condition, his vitals are slowly improving.


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