Police search for suspect in North Lawndale shooting that killed 2, including toddler

ByJohn Garcia and Laura Podesta WLS logo
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Police search for offender in North Lawndale shooting
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A toddler, 25-year-old man and 20-year-old pregnant woman were shot on Monday in the city's North Lawndale neighborhood.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police continued to search for the shooter who killed a toddler and a man, and wounded a 20-year-old pregnant woman on Chicago's West Side.

No one was in custody late Wednesday for the fatal shooting, which was streamed live on Facebook.

Lavontay White, 2, and Lazarec Collins, 26, were killed in the shooting, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

Collins, a documented gang member who was recently released from prison, was the intended target, police said.

The three victims were sitting in a car in an alley in the 2300-block of South Kenneth Avenue in the city's North Lawndale neighborhood when another car pulled up, and one person got out and started shooting around 1:30 p.m.

The toddler was shot in the head and rushed to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:43 p.m. Collins was also shot in the head and transported to Stroger, where he later died.

The pregnant woman, who is the toddler's aunt, was shot in the stomach and transported to Mount Sinai Hospital. She was listed in critical condition.

Investigators said they were pursuing any and all leads. Earlier Wednesday, police stopped a silver SUV in the Lawndale neighborhood and took two men into custody, but said the SUV had no connection to the shooting.

"We have some promising leads so hopefully we bring that to a successful conclusion soon," said Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson.

Johnson also called for reform in the criminal justice system to stem gun violence in Chicago.

"If I'm a gang member and I pick up that gun and I pull the trigger, if I knew I'mm gonna be out in six months -- that's a baseball season, I can do that," Johnson said.

Collins, who police said was the target of the gunfire, was convicted of residential burglary in 2012 and sentenced to eight years in prison. He was released in June on parole. Since his release in November, he was charged with drunken driving in DuPage County.

A group of pastors and community leaders offered a $3,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case.


At least 12 people were shot - five fatally - across Chicago's South and West sides on Valentine's Day. Lavontay was the third child shot in the city in three days, and the second to die.

The day's latest slaying happened about 2:40 p.m. in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. A 62-year-old man was sitting in a vehicle parked in the 3400 block of West Walnut when a dark-colored Jeep pulled alongside and someone inside opened fire. The man suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:55 p.m., authorities said.

Just before noon, 23-year-old James Johnson was shot to death when someone walked up to him in a South Shore neighborhood store in the 2000 block of East 71st Street and shot him in the chest. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:38 p.m., authorities said.

Tuesday's first fatal shooting happened about 9:30 a.m. in a separate North Lawndale neighborhood attack in the 4100 block of West 18th Street. Malike Ellis was riding in a vehicle when another vehicle pulled up and someone inside fired shots, authorities said. Ellis, who lived in the same neighborhood, was shot in the chest and the driver took him to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died at 9:53 a.m., authorities said.

The latest nonfatal shooting happened about 10 p.m. in the Austin neighborhood, where an 18-year-old man was standing on the sidewalk in the 4900 block of West Hubbard when he heard gunfire and realized he'd been shot in the left leg, police said. He later showed up at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, where he was listed in good condition.

Earlier Tuesday evening, a 22-year-old man was shot in the lower back and buttocks in Humboldt Park. He was walking in the 1600 block of North Keeler about 7:15 p.m. when a dark car pulled up and someone inside opened fire, police said. The man drove himself to Norwegian American Hospital and was transferred to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.

About 4:15 p.m., a 29-year-old man was leaving a business in the 200 block of South Laramie in Austin when another male wearing a mask walked up and opened fire, police said. The 29-year-old pulled out his own gun and returned fire before the masked suspect jumped into a silver BMW SUV, which sped away west on Adams. The man was shot in the left arm and buttocks and taken to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized. A 28-year-old woman was struck by stray gunfire, suffering a graze wound to the left hand. She was taken in good condition to Loretto Hospital. The 29-year-old's gun was recovered at the scene and charges were expected to be filed.

In more Austin violence, a 28-year-old man was shot in the leg about 11:15 a.m. in the 1300 block of North Mayfield, police said. He was treated by paramedics at the scene and was listed in good condition.

Tuesday's first shooting happened about 2:30 a.m. in a Lawndale home invasion in the 1400 block of South Central Park. Two people forced their way inside, and then shot through the door of a 19-year-old man's room before taking off, police said. He was shot in the side and taken to Mount Sinai in good condition.

More than 400 people have been shot, 69 fatally, in Chicago over the first seven weeks of the year.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.