East Garfield Park shooting leaves 3 wounded at back-to-school event, including 2 siblings

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Three people, including a 12-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, were wounded in a shooting Saturday afternoon in East Garfield Park.

Their day started with volunteering at a community event for kids on the West Side and ended with two teenage siblings in the hospital with gunshot wounds.

Their parents are beside themselves.

The go-kart the siblings were sitting in is still parked and the bounce houses are now deflated.

The remnants of a children's community event upended by gunfire is now a crime scene.

"We touched people's lives and just gave them something positive, even if it was just momentarily. And... I don't know what's in these people's heart that would make them want to shoot at a bouncy house and go-karts and cotton candy," said the victims' father, Lamar Peterson.

They were standing outside a business about 3:25 p.m. in the 2900 block of West Fulton Street when two people inside a vehicle that drove by fired shots, Chicago police said.

The West Side gas station parking lot turned to a temporary playground was mean to be the site of a back-to-school giveaway of backpacks stocked with school supplies - but is now blocked off with police tape.

Peterson brought his family from a South Side neighborhood to help out.

"I took my kids out to give back to the community, for kids that don't have the things they have," he said.

But, without warning, shots rang out on what was supposed to be a positive day.

"A car rolled up and opened fire on all the kids. A group of kids," said Diamond Young. "We saw all the kids scattering, kids limping away, some running away crying, screaming.

One was of the kids shot was her 12-year-old son.

"His iPhone stopped the bullet, so thank God my son just has a graze wound," Young said.

Her 15-year-old stepdaughter, Ayana Fleming, wasn't so lucky.

"My daughter is about to start her freshman year of high school as a performing arts student and now she has a bullet to both her legs," Peterson said.

Three people, including a 12-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, were wounded in a shooting Saturday afternoon at an East Garfield Park back-to-school event.



This was supposed to be fun -- a distraction from COVID and street chaos -- but a still unknown gunman took it as an opportunity.

"I'm just disappointed, disgusted. We can't have anything, obviously. We can't even do a gesture, just having a little thing for the kids without violence erupting with innocent kids," Young said.

Both were taken to Rush University Medical Center, where they were listed in good condition, police said. The girl was shot in the calf and ankle and the boy suffered a graze wound to his hip, officials said.

A 25-year-old man is in surgery at another nearby hospital after he was hit multiple times in this same shooting.

Fleming's father believes the gunmen were using semi-automatic weapons they couldn't control.

The shooters got away, and police still don't know who's responsible.

At least 280 minors have been shot and 34 of them died from their injuries so far this year in Chicago, according to ABC7 data.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.