CHICAGO - Charges remained pending against someone arrested Tuesday evening in connection to an apparent road-rage incident that gravely wounded a 21-month-old, Chicago police said.
The shooting followed a dispute over one car not letting another car into a lane of traffic about 11 a.m. Tuesday on northbound Lake Shore Drive just south of Soldier Field, police said.
Both cars continued north and shooting began on Lake Shore Drive just west of the Shedd Aquarium. Bullet casings were recovered over a two-block stretch as the cars proceeded north, police said. The vehicle the child was in crashed at Monroe Street and Lake Shore Drive.
A good Samaritan in a passing Tesla saw the crashed car and drove the boy and a male and female occupant to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The boy, who was shot in the temple, was later transferred to Lurie, police said.
A bullet hole could be seen in the rear passenger window of the crashed vehicle. Northbound Lake Shore Drive was closed until about 1:30 p.m. as police investigated.
A handgun was recovered from an occupant of the crashed vehicle, though police couldn’t immediately say if it was used in the shooting or if it was possessed legally.
The Good Samaritan who assisted in the incident was driving on Lake Shore Drive, on his way home from getting his second COVID-19 vaccine dose, when he noticed a car accident and saw a woman climbing out of the window with a baby. He says she was trying to flag cars down, saying that the baby had been shot.
"I couldn’t have that on my conscious, getting home and finding out something bad happened to the baby," the Good Samaritan said, who asked to remain anonymous.
In an unrelated news conference, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the shooting was "terribly tragic." Lightfoot said the location of the shooting in downtown was incidental. "It wasn’t gang-related… This was simple, stupid road rage," she said.
Police had a suspect identified and a witness to the shooting, and police briefly pursued the wanted car, Lightfoot said. She lamented the prevalence of guns in Chicago and how easy they were to attain over state lines.
"It’s mind boggling to me people carry guns… and that they use them when children are in that proximity," Lightfoot said.
Police have responded to at least five other shootings this year in the Loop.
Last weekend two men were wounded in separate shootings on Lower Wacker Drive. On Easter, an 18-year-old man was shot about 7:10 a.m. while driving with his girlfriend in the first block of North Lower Wacker, police said. Struck in the neck, he was hospitalized in critical condition. Before dawn Saturday, a 29-year-old man was shot in his knee as he traveled in a vehicle on Lower Wacker, police said.
On March 19, three people were arrested for allegedly firing gunshots shortly after midnight in the first block of East Lake Street, police said. A hotel security guard gave a vehicle description to police, who found the car on Wacker Drive.
In October 2020, prosecutors said Lake Shore Drive became a "shooting gallery" when someone shot out the eye of a 19-year-old woman in a vehicle at Jackson Boulevard, just south of where the child was shot Tuesday.
Chicago police’s 1st District, which covers the Loop and South Loop, has seen two other shootings this year through March 28, according to police statistics. Overall crime in the district has fallen 35% over the same period last year, according to the numbers. Meanwhile, reports of sex assault and vehicle thefts have increased over the last year.
FOX 32 News contributed to this report.