Gunfire in Chicago alley kills boy who was washing his hands

CHICAGO (AP) — A 7-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet while washing his hands in the bathroom of his family’s Chicago home on Wednesday night, police said.

Police said the shooting happened in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the city’s West Side. The boy was apparently getting ready for bed when someone fired multiple shots in a nearby alley and a stray bullet struck the child in the abdomen, Deputy Police Chief Ron Pontecore said.

The boy was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died, police said. He was later identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office as Akeem Briscoe.

Police aren’t sure what prompted the shooting, but Pontecore said authorities do not believe anyone in the home was the intended target. Officers found several shell casings in the alley.

Detectives are examining private video footage from the area in the hopes of identifying a suspect. Pontecore said he hoped whoever killed the boy would come forward.

“Own up to what you did, we have a very distraught mother,” he said.

The shooting followed a violent weekend in which nine juveniles were among at least 51 people who were shot. Ten of those victims died, including one juvenile, a 16-year-old boy.

Briscoe’s death also added another name to the bleak list of innocent young Chicagoans who have been killed by gun violence in recent years. The victims include numerous small children who have been gunned down while sitting in gang-targeted cars, an 11-year-old girl who was struck by a stray bullet during a slumber party and a 19-year-old college student who was killed on his parents’ front porch after being mistaken for a member of a rival gang.

As of Sunday, 306 juveniles were shot in Chicago this year, according to police department statistics. Forty-nine juveniles have been the victims of homicides but the news affairs office said it could not immediately say how many of those victims were shot.

In all, there have been 564 homicides in the city as of Sunday, compared to 676 for the same period last year. There have been 2,376 shootings this year compared to 2,959 for the same period last year, according to police statistics.

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