Young victims injured in weekend shootings

August 25, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Also, an 11-year-old girl was injured while sitting with relatives on the front porch of her Northwest Side home.

Fourteen-year-old Lavandar Hearnes had just finished the 9th grade at Melody Stem School. He played on the football team and was about to start high school. But late Saturday night, Hearnes was shot and killed, just steps from his former school, while at a block party in Garfield Park.

"He was a cool kid," said former classmate Jermaine Cullen. "Very athletic. Played football. Played for the Gators. He was always around his friends. He was a good kid."

Police say Hearnes was standing alongside several other people when he was shot in the left side of the chest. But at this point they don't know if the teenager was the intended target, or was, as his family insists, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The shooting is one of two involving young people Sunday. The second took place at 4 a.m. on the 2300 block of North Kostner, when police say a woman shot at a group of people sitting on the front porch of this home. Eleven-year-old Cindy Leon was hit.

Fortunately the girl was not seriously injured and she's back home recovering from the wound. Her stepfather said he expects her to be well enough to start school Monday.

"I feel bad," Santiago Galves said. "It's crazy. It's dangerous. You can't sit outside because people start shooting. They don't care."

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