CHICAGO (SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - Two children who were playing with fireworks were among four people shot late Monday when a family’s Fourth of July celebration was interrupted by gunfire in the West Englewood neighborhood on the South Side.
The cousins, 8-year-old Corey Bondurant and 5-year-old Taniyah Williams, were playing with sparklers outside in the 5500 block of South Hermitage about 11 p.m. when someone on the street started shooting, according to relatives and Chicago Police.
The boy was shot in the right leg and the girl in the left leg, police said. They were taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where their conditions were stabilized.
“Corey is out of surgery and is in stable condition. We will not be giving any more interviews. We ask that you respect our privacy as our child heals from his injuries,” Corey’s father Corey Bondurant said in a statement released by Comer Children’s Hospital Tuesday afternoon.
A 30-year-old woman and 19-year-old man who were also wounded in the shooting later showed up at University of Chicago Medical Center, police said. They were each shot in the left leg and listed in good condition.
“This is crazy, I never thought this would happen to me,” said Corey’s mother, 38-year-old Alicia Williams, one of more than a dozen family members and friends gathered outside the hospital early Tuesday.
More than 50 people were on the block at the time, talking, drinking and lighting fireworks, when someone ran out of a gangway and across the street nearby, firing a handgun at least nine times.
Williams said she was holding her grandson and talking to her grandson’s mother when people started running and yelling. She handed her grandson to his mother, and then one of Williams’ five sons pushed her inside her aunt’s house.
Corey came running into the house a short time later and sat in a kitchen chair, bleeding, Williams said.
“I think he was in shock and didn’t even feel it at first,” Williams said. “Then I freaked out and scared the hell out of him. He didn’t cry until he saw me crying.”
She then called an ambulance.
When the gunfire erupted, Corey’s 17-year-old brother, Darryl Smith, ran into his great great grandmother’s house. He was followed by Taniyah’s brother, who was carrying the girl.
That’s when Smith, a student at Urban Prep Academies in Englewood, grabbed his cousin’s car keys to take the girl to the hospital.
“I sped through every red light,” he said.
Smith added that Taniyah was responsive and talking while they were headed to Comer. She kept saying, “I’m not going off the porch anymore.”
He was at the hospital with his cousin when he got the call that his brother had also been shot. Corey arrived at the hospital by ambulance within 30 minutes of Darryl bringing in Taniyah.
Authorities said both children were expected to survive.
Williams said Corey broke his ankle. The boy, a “gentleman” who likes basketball and football, was wearing new white Air Jordans for the holiday and was “walking careful” all day because he didn’t want to mess up his shoes.
From outside the hospital early Tuesday, she said one shoe was covered in blood at the hospital with Corey, but she didn’t know the location of the other shoe.
“I live on that block, my whole family lives on that block,” she said. “My grandma has been living on that block for 42 years. We’ve never had a problem on that block… This is crazy. It’s time to make a lot of changes.”