CHICAGO (SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - A 10-year-old boy was shot and critically wounded Monday night while he was on his family’s front porch in the West Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side.
“I’ve got faith in God that he’s going to pull through,” the boy’s mother, 39-year-old Mellanie Washington, said early Tuesday from outside Mount Sinai Hospital while her son, Tavon Tanner, was in surgery.
Tavon was standing outside the family’s home at 10:18 p.m. in the 3900 block of West Polk when shots rang out and he was struck in the back, according to Chicago Police.
He was taken to Sinai in critical condition, authorities said.
“I was just sitting on the porch with my sister and my kids and someone just started shooting,” Washington said, adding that she didn’t see where the shots came from, but heard at least five.
“I didn’t even know [Tavon] was next to me until he fell backwards through the doorway when I was crawling in the house,” she said. “He was talking and we didn’t even know he was shot at first, until we saw blood on his shirt.”
Washington said Tavon was lying in the doorway, beating the floor and yelling for his aunt, screaming, “Te Te! Te Te!”
She added that his twin sister, who was a “nervous wreck” early Tuesday, collapsed on the floor next to him, screaming, “Twin, don’t leave me!”
“He was talking until he started throwing up blood,” Washington said. Tavon’s twin was inside the house at the time of the shooting, while their 7-year-old brother was also on the porch, but wasn’t injured.
More than a dozen family members and friends waited outside the hospital with Washington early Tuesday, making small talk, smoking and pacing.
“I’m worried, but I’m trying to hold it together,” she said.
Tavon, who will be a fifth-grade student at KIPP Ascend Primary charter school in the fall, likes to play basketball, football and video games. He wants to be a police officer or a firefighter when he grows up.
“Nothing like this ever happened to my family before,” Washington said.
But she added that she hears gunshots either on her block or in her neighborhood at least once every day.
About three hours before gunfire erupted outside the family’s home Monday night, a 22-year-old man was shot to death about a half block away in the 800 block of South Springfield, according to police. That victim was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“It’s so senseless,” said Tavon’s grandmother, 60-year-old Vernita Washington.
She also lives in West Garfield Park and added that she hears gunshots “all day, every day.
“It’s ridiculous, all these shootings,” she said. “This is so senseless, kids can’t even play on their front porch.”