Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Random Shooting? Not So Much

The news story we ran today about a 16-year-old being shot by persons unknown early this morning just didn't sit right.

For one thing, we didn't get a ton of emails and Facebook postings as soon as it happened, and we nearly always hear from readers when there are shots fired (and sometimes when there are not).

Second, someone commented that they were right there next to a window and didn't hear anything.

Third, the part about not calling 911, but instead having a "nearby bystander" drive the victim to the hospital just sounds wrong.  Heck, we're nice people, but we're not gonna drive a bloody wounded stranger to the hospital in the middle of the night; that's what 911 and EMTs are for.  And really, are there actually "bystanders" on a residential street at 2am? In the unlikely event that there are, wouldn't they be running for their lives once they saw a man get gunned down right in front of them instead of going "Hey, dude, can I give you a ride to the trauma center"?

So it all sounded really peculiar.  That's why it wasn't a surprise when we got an email from someone who's in the know (who requested anonymity):
The inside scoop on this morning's "shooting"... The bullet had a downward trajectory and the "victim" had powder burns on his clothes. He was tucking a gun in his waistband and accidentally shot himself.
We're guessing he was inside an apartment or house and that's why no one heard the noise of his gun going off.

So it's scary that a 16-year-old kid, who has a 10pm city curfew, was tucking a loaded gun into his pants as part of his going-out-on-the-town ensemble at 1:41am.

It's unfortunate that he's seriously wounded, with injuries to his leg and groin.

But what does strike us as funny is the story -- short on details, but long on blame -- that he was randomly attacked walking down the street and was saved only due to the actions of a good-hearted bystander.  Guess it's better for his street cred than admitting he just isn't very good at carrying a piece.


  1. Wow. Thanks for not only getting to the bottom of this, but for sharing what you found out. There's a big difference between someone being randomly shot at, and someone shooting themselves accidentally. While neither is a desirous event, and the fact that there was a gun involved at all is unnerving, it's good to know that no one was targeted or was shot randomly. Thank you for being on top of this! It's also disturbing that if this is true, the Trib even blew it without having all the details.

  2. I really had a problem with this story so thanks for the update, Update. After getting past the sixteen year old out after 1:00 a.m., and the usual "where the hell are the parents" thought process, I honestly had to hesitate with the Good Samaritan drive to the hospital. As God is my witness, when I read that part in the Trib story, I really had to pause. We are good people in Uptown, but voluntarily driving a person with gunshot wounds to the hospital in the dead of night and not calling 911...you gotta smell a rat. I hope the kid is okay, and I hope he's reprimanded for having a firearm in his pants.

  3. With Halloween just around the corner, maybe this kid was planning on going as Plaxico Burress (the former NFL player who accidentally shot himself in the leg).

  4. I look forward to decades more of his residency in the neighborhood.

  5. Where are the parents in all this? Why are they not being charged with the curfew violation and or neglect of a child? Parents need to start being held accountable for their underage children's actions.

  6. It would be nice if the parent (note the singular...our experience is that most of the miscreants in the 'hood come from single-parent households) was held responsible. But it isn't easy to accomplish: a mother of a 14-year old boy in a Voice of the People building threw out the boy's father, found a new boyfriend who didn't want the boy around, moved in with the boyfriend in another neighborhood, and kept the boy in her Voice apartment for a couple of years. She came in once a week with groceries for him. He started running with the gangbangers, had friends over to party all hours of the day and night, and let his friends stay there while he was gone. We called 911, we called Voice, we called DCFS, and one of the residents even mentioned the disruptions when she caught Mama making a grocery drop. Mama slapped the bejeezus out of the boy right in front of her, but Voice could never find a problem, DCFS could never find anyone answering the door (DUH!), and the CPD would just cruise through and look from their cars. I think that parents SHOULD be held accountable for their kids, but when the landlords don't care, the child protection people don't do their jobs, and the police can't be bothered, it makes accountability very difficult. The problem was resolved after about a year and a half by several neighbors badgering Mama about her neglect. The boy disappeared and Mama moved back in--without her boyfriend.

  7. Not sure who this person in the know is, but as I commented in response to the original story, I DID hear gunshots at 1:40 that morning near Cuyler and Broadway. It was not just one shot, but multiple gunshots (between 5 and 7) and so I really doubt it was simply a case of someone accidentally shooting himself. If he did accidentally shoot himself, my guess is that he panicked after someone shot at him. I still don not think it was a random shooting or that a good samaritan drove him to the hospital, but there was gunfire exchanged on the street.

  8. @ kt:

    Multiple people near Dakin and Sheridan reported hearing gunshots at that time. The "gunshots" were later confirmed to be fireworks by multiple residents who actually saw them. Sounds like you were in that vicinity, so that is likely what you were hearing.