CHICAGO - The family of a Chicago firefighter who was critically wounded in a mass shooting over the weekend is speaking out.
Police and family are calling on the public to help solve the crime.
FOX 32 spoke with this siblings of Timothy Eiland and they tell us he is recovering very well and is responding to them by opening his eyes.
Tim was leaving his nephew’s birthday party when gunfire erupted. The 32-year-old Chicago firefighter was off duty at the time and surrounded by his family.
"I was standing right next to them. Whoever started shooting threw firecrackers to distract," said Tim’s brother, Micah Eiland.
Elishama Wright is Tim’s sister.
"I hear everybody running and screaming, and it was blood gushing out of his face," she said.
Police say it happened around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday in the West Pullman neighborhood in the 300 block of East Kensington.
"They were attending a birthday party at a hall, when a group of unknown offenders came through a very dark gangway, discharged their firearms, striking a total of six victims and then they fled on foot. So the detectives don’t have a lot on this case right now, and we believe there are people in the neighborhood who more than likely know who these offenders are and we definitely need some tips and help to point us in the right direction ," said Brendan Deenihan, Chief of Detectives for the Chicago Police Department.
A 42-year-old woman from Dolton — Schenia Smith — died from her injuries. Two other men were struck and will be OK.
Tim's 15-year-old niece was also struck in the arm and is now recovering.
"My daughter she came walking towards me with blood running down her arm and then she collapsed in my arms," Wright said.
Chicago firefighter Timothy Eiland and her 15-year-old niece Divine O’Neal were among six people wounded in a shooting Saturday evening in West Pullman on the Far South Side. | Provided by family
Tim is following in his father’s firefighting footsteps. The family is unclear why they became victims of gun violence over the weekend.
"So we didn't see anyone. We didn't see anyone that we weren't familiar with," Wright said.
Now, they need the public’s help tracking down the shooter.
"So just do what's right. Because you know this was wrong," Tim’s brother Micah said.
"My brother almost lost his life. My daughter almost lost her life. A woman lost her life to other people are injured, you know, come forward please," Wright said.
Police are also saying that detectives do not have a lot to go on right now for this incident. If you know anything, reach out.