Mother speaks out after 13-year-old shot in head in 'random' SW Side shooting

ByEvelyn Holmes and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Friday, September 16, 2022
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Two people have been charged after a Chicago shooting critically wounded a 13-year-old boy along 21st Place in Heart of Chicago, CPD said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police announced charges against two people Friday morning after a 13-year-old boy was shot while celebrating his grandmother's birthday Tuesday on the city's Southwest Side.

Isaiah Renteria, 22, and Pedro Molina, 23, have been charged with five felony counts of attempted first-degree murder, police said.

The boy shot was left in "extremely" critical condition after being shot in the head during an apparent "random act of violence," according to police.

The teen's mother spoke to ABC7 Chicago Friday and said her son is still recovering. She said that he has opened his eyes and is responding to the voices of family members who remain by his bedside.

"He's, well, responsive. He knows who everybody is and hopefully he will be with us," she said.

The boy and his uncle were returning to a family party in the 1800-block of West 21st Place in the city's Heart of Chicago neighborhood when they saw three cars circling the area, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan told reporters at police headquarters Wednesday.

Detectives said the trouble began around 10:30 p.m., shortly after the elementary school student and his 21-year-old uncle walked back to the party after going to a nearby store to buy a game and noticed the vehicles.

Two people then fired shots from a nearby alley, striking the boy.

"I thought they were fireworks. The next thing I know, they started screaming my son's name," the teen's mother recalled.

The boy's uncle, who is a conceal carry license holder, returned fire but doesn't think he shot anyone.

SEE MORE: Chicago shooting: 2 boys shot just minutes apart in South Side homes, CPD says

"I seen my son on the floor. He was still trying to get up and holding his head," the boy's mother added.

The boy was hit in the right side of the head and was rushed to Stroger Hospital, police said. He remained in "extremely" critical condition, Deenihan said.

"It looks like these bad guys were looking for someone to shoot and came upon these people and did so," Deenihan added.

Officers tried stopping one of the cars that was seen circling the block but it "fled at a high rate of speed," Deenihan said. A police helicopter tracked it to Hinsdale, where local police officers stopped it and took three people into custody.

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"This is just extremely tragic," Deenihan said. "The people we have in custody are gang members. We believe that they were just shooting at this individual because they didn't recognize him from the neighborhood."

Investigators say neither the boy nor his uncle have any gang affiliations.

The Sun-Times Media report contributed to this post.