5-month-old child fatally shot while sitting in back of car, Chicago police say

CHICAGO — A 5-month-old girl was fatally shot while sitting in the back of a vehicle in a Chicago neighborhood on Friday, authorities said.

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Cecilia Thomas was in a car in a South Side neighborhood of the city at about 6:45 p.m. when another car approached and shots were fired, Chicago police and Natalia Derevyanny, a spokesperson for the Cook County medical examiner’s office, told the Chicago Tribune.

The child was struck in the head and taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 7:10 p.m., Derevyanny told the newspaper.

Thomas was four days shy of turning 6 months old, the Tribune reported.

A 41-year-old man who was in a separate car was shot around the eye, police told the Chicago Sun-Times. He went to an area hospital, where he was in good condition, according to the newspaper.

The girl’s father pulled over after she began crying, a nearby business owner told WLS-TV.

Andrew Holmes, a crisis responder in the city, told the television station that he spoke with Thomas’ mother, who was “very distraught.”

“That’s a 5-month-old baby. Nine months she carried that baby, nourished that baby,” Holmes told WLS. “And it takes a damn fool to discharge that weapon and take (a) baby’s life.”

A nurse at Comer Children’s Hospital, who declined to give her last name, said she saw paramedics bring Thomas into the facility.

“I’ve never in my 61 years of life seen anything like this,” the nurse, Jackie, told the Sun-Times.

The woman said two of her children have been killed by gunfire, and a third child was paralyzed after being shot during a party, the newspaper reported.

“You never know what it’s like to have a broken heart until you go through it,” Jackie told the Sun-Times.

As of June 19, the Chicago Police Department had recorded 282 homicides during 2022, The Associated Press reported. That is down from 316 recorded during the same period in 2021.

While police have not identified a suspect, Holmes said it was “supposed to be” a woman who was inside a red Chrysler, WFLD-TV reported.

“My message to her: it won’t be long because I hope one of these cameras or somebody got her information and knows how she looks,” Holmes told WFLD. “You just took this baby’s life. This baby was an infant, this baby didn’t do nothing to you. We understand it may have been two cars shooting back and forth at each other. We’re not going to stand for this in this city.

“We need this city to do what we got to do to put eyes on this young lady, on this driver until both of them have been arrested because this is disgusting, this is a disgrace, this is as low as you can get. And that bullet went through the back of that car and hit this baby in the head.”

Ja’Mal Green, who is running for mayor in Chicago, announced a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction, WLS reported. She asked that anyone with information call 800-883-5587.

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