Khalise Weatherspoon among at least 4 young children shot in July

July 31, 2013 5:34:07 AM PDT
At least four children have been hit by gunfire in the last few weeks, and that has triggered new calls to stop the violence on Chicago streets.

The roar of the motorcycle engines can be heard for blocks. It draws neighbors out of their houses to see what's going on. That's the idea.

"Anything to set an example, even if it's just to get through to one person. This is what we're about," said Tewhanna Hannah, biker.

"We're here to stop the violence, and I think we're going to make a tremendous impact," said Louis Phillips, biker.

It is the latest effort to stop the shootings that are claiming young innocent victims in the community. Three other young children have been shot and wounded this month in Chicago.

A 7-year-old boy was shot in the neck in the Chatham neighborhood July 3. Jaden Donald, 5, was shot in the West Pullman neighborhood early July 4. Quianna Tompkins, 6, was shot while riding a scooter in the Roseland neighborhood July 20. She had been at a memorial for a man shot to death on the same street five years ago.

Khalise Weatherspoon was hit by gunfire on Monday. The four-year-old girl shot while riding her scooter may be able to go home from the hospital later this week.

Khalise Weatherspoon's family released a photo from her hospital room Tuesday night where they say she is recovering well and even eating her favorite meal, steak.

Neighbors earlier gathered for a vigil near the spot where Weatherspoon was shot. They echo the calls for an end to the violence.

Khalise Weatherspoon, 5, recovering from Monday night shooting

"The way he was shooting, it looked like he was targeting the guys. She was just at the wrong place at the wrong time," said neighbor Asmahan Allen.

Witness Derrik Lewis and Khalise's mother rushed the child to Holy Cross Hospital a couple blocks away.

"She come behind me and with her baby in her hands said, 'Derrik, my baby been shot.' And I grabbed the baby and I cupped her, put her in my car. And I did just what the police would do -- ran every stoplight just to get her here to save this child," said Lewis.

After doctors stabilized the child, she was then taken to the trauma center at Mount Sinai Hospital.

For relatives gathered at the hospital, the shooting shattered what should have been a happy time for Khalise. She had turned 4 the day before the shooting.

"We were just celebrating her fourth birthday just this past weekend, you know, I just don't get it. We need to stop the violence," said Richard Spires, Khalise's grandfather.

"Very angry. It makes no sense to shoot a baby, 4 years old. Very angry, and very hurt," said Pamela Williams, Khalise's aunt.

A 31-year-old man who was near the scene was shot as well. His injuries were not life-threatening, and police say he was not an intended target either.

Police sources say they believe the gunmen were aiming for some of the little girl's relatives, who they say are "confirmed" gang members.

No suspects were in custody Tuesday.


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