16-year-old girl shot in Humboldt Park while walking to school

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A teenage girl is recovering from a gunshot wound after she was caught in the crossfire on her way to school Thursday morning.

The shooting happened in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood where residents say violence is on the rise. FOX 32's Dane Placko talked with some parents who are worried about the problems.

The shooting happened around 8:30 a.m. Thursday. The 16-year-old girl was walking to school near the corner of Hirsch and Kildare when a man in a car and a man driving a U-Haul truck got into a fight. One witness who does not want to be identified says the two men began exchanging gunfire while the vehicles were still moving.

"They had a shootout, a shootout, busted out...they were shooting back and forth at each other,” the witness said.

One of the bullets struck the girl in the leg, and she was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital where her condition was stabilized.

The driver of the U-Haul lost control and smashed into several cars lining the street, including the car belonging to Cretia Vinson.

"I was angry at first cause it's hard to pay for something like that.... But I'm just glad everybody's okay and I wasn't in the car,” Vinson said.

The shooting happened about a block away from West Park Academy, which is an elementary school where students were just arriving.

"It's not good at all... And as being a parent I'm thinking about my children right now, that this incident happened. It could have been them,” said parent Tonnetta Russell.

Parents picking up their kids Thursday afternoon got a letter from the principal informing them of the nearby shooting, but it said the victim did not attend the school.

Some parents told FOX 32 News they're worried about escalating violence in West Humboldt Park.

"It's kind of scary because you want to make sure that the kids get educated and come home safe. Get home safe. And it looks like nowadays they're not ever safe nowhere,” said parent Maria Sanchez.

Police say they have no one in custody, and the hospital says it cannot update the condition of the girl because she's a minor.

FOX 32's Anita Padilla spoke with her LIVE on GDC about the terrifying experience and living to tell the story. Click play above for more. 

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