Two boys killed, two other teens wounded in shooting outside Juarez High School on West Side
CHICAGO - Two high school students were killed and two other teens were injured following a shooting outside Benito Juarez Community Academy in the city’s Pilsen neighborhood on Friday.
Around 2:38 p.m., shortly after dismissal, officials said gunfire erupted outside the school.
Sources tell FOX 32 Chicago that all four victims are Juarez students – shot on their own campus as they were getting ready to start the weekend.
"It’s sad. It’s sad because instead of celebrating Christmas, New Year’s, you’re going to be crying, sad for the children who just passed away," said Emanuel Orozco, parent.
As first responders rushed to the school, parents, including Orozco, received frantic phone calls from their children.
"Security guards in the school were telling them to go to the nearest classroom," said Orozco.
Police say four teens were shot.
"It’s shocking," said Orozco. "Hearing all these shootings in the schools, it’s scary – scary to find out your daughter is in one of those schools that just got shot."
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The victims were taken to Stroger Hospital, where family members gathered anxiously throughout the evening.
A 14-year-old boy and a 15-year-old were both shot in the head and died, according to police.
The 15-year-old boy who died has been identified as Brandon Perez, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Another 15-year-old boy who was struck in the shoulder and thigh is in good condition.
A 15-year-old girl – who suffered a graze wound to the thigh – is also in good condition.
"We have POD camera throughout the neighborhood so we are reviewing all of that camera as well as our teams, area technology teams, they respond to shootings," said Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown.
Supt. Brown said during a news conference Friday evening there is no one in custody yet.
"All of us are trying to find answers. Of course, I am very concerned because this happened on our grounds," said Pedro Martinez, CEO of Chicago Public Schools.
Martinez – who is a graduate of Benito Juarez Community Academy – says they will be providing counseling support to students and staff.
CPS officials also said they will be enhancing security at the high school beginning Monday.
Next Thursday marks the last day of classes before winter break.
Chicago Public Schools issued the following statement Friday evening:
"The safety of our school community is our top priority. This afternoon, we received reports that shots had been fired outside of Benito Juarez High School shortly after dismissal. The Chicago Police Department (CPD) and paramedics responded quickly to the scene. CPS remains in close contact with CPD and this incident is under investigation. The CPS Office of Safety and Security and other District leadership are working closely with school leadership and staff as well as CPD to gather information and respond to this incident. CPS will keep Benito Juarez families updated as well as the greater community. Our thoughts are with all those impacted by this tragedy."