Boy, 3, fatally shot in Waukegan home identified

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A 3-year-old boy died after he was shot Thursday morning in his home in north suburban Waukegan, police said. (WLS)

A 3-year-old boy died after he was shot Thursday morning in his home in north suburban Waukegan, police said.

Officers responded to a 911 call from the child's mother saying her son, identified as Jeremiah Banks, had been shot in the head in the 1100-block of Greenfield Avenue around 3 a.m.

Jeremiah was rushed to Vista East Medical Center, where police said he was pronounced dead from a single gunshot. Police said they believe the gunshot wound was self-inflicted and accidental.

Police said they believe Jeremiah woke up just before 3 a.m. and went into his parents' bedroom, where he took his father's handgun - a 9mm semi-automatic Diamondback - from where it was on the dresser and went into the living room. Police believe the gun discharged in the living room, striking Jeremiah in the head.

Police found one other weapon, described as a rifle, in the home. Police said the father possessed a valid FOID card.

No charges have yet been filed and the boy's parents are not in custody, police said. The case is pending review by the Lake County State's Attorney's Office.

Detectives taped off an entire block around the home to protect the scene. Investigators were there for about eight hours, collecting evidence.

Those who know the family were in shock.

"It's a sad situation, that this had to happen like this," said family friend Howard Scott.

Next door neighbor Genoveva Zanjuan said she was awakened early Thursday morning after haering a single gunshot.

"I heard the shot and we looked out the window. All the lights were on and I saw him with the baby in his arms and he was saying, 'My baby, my baby,'" Zanjuan said.
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