Gary shooting leaves boy, 3, wounded, in stable condition

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- A three-year-old boy was shot early Wednesday morning in Gary, police said.

The boy's grandmother said he is in stable condition.

Police said they responded to the 1700-block of East 7th Avenue at about 2:45 a.m. for a report of a child shot.

After they arrived, they were told that the boy had been shot three times. He was then airlifted to Comer Children's Hospital for treatment and his condition is not known.

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"I heard a gunshot, which woke me up. Then, I heard the babies crying, so I really didn't know what was going on," said Lashon Verge, neighbor. "I pray to god that he be okay and that he just pulls through everything because I'm sure he was really scared," Verge said.

A resident who did not want to be identified said the child's mother was at work and adults who were at the apartment went to get the mother after gunshots. It was not until the mother returned home before she called 911 for help.

"From what I'm being told, they just went and got the mom from work and before calling for any type of aid for the baby," the neighbor said.

The boy's mother was at work at the time of the incident. She said she is unsure what happened.

Police said the person in charge of watching the boy will be questioned.

Gary Mayor Jerome Prince released a statement saying, ""As a father and grandfather, it infuriates me and breaks my heart to hear about one of our young children suffering unimaginable injuries. There is absolutely no way to understand how a toddler can injure himself or herself in an incident like this.

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"Someone must be held accountable for this travesty. Our Gary Police Department investigators will get to the bottom of this incident, and we will bring the full weight and authority of the City of Gary down on the adult or adults responsible for this. We will give this injured child justice."

Gary police also released a statement saying, "While Gary Police Department takes every shooting incident seriously, when an innocent child is shot the incident is of highest priority. Gary Police Department investigators are diligently pursuing information related to the shooting of a 3-year-old boy early this morning in Gary. The community can rest assured the Gary Police Department is dedicating the full weight of our resources to the investigation and determining exactly how this child came to be shot.

"I'm hoping the baby survived, and the mother, you know, stays strong, and if she knows anything, she just tell, you know, who had any part taken in the incident," said Sam Cooks, neighbor. "For an individual to allow this to happen, that's just totally outrageous."

"Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact the Violent Crimes Division at 219-881-1210 or the Crime Tip Line at 866-CRIME-GP."
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