UPDATE: Chicago Police on Friday said they now believe the drive-by shooting that left a 1-year-old boy critically wounded was not random. Follow this developing story here.
Devastated family members of a 1-year-old who was shot in the head spoke out early Friday as the young boy remained on life support.
“We need to put these guns down," the child's grandfather Melvin Freeman said. "The summer is coming, we need to put them down. Our babies are dying. We need to stop doing this, could we please put these guns down and let these babies live? Let these babies live."
The boy, who relatives said is named Dijon Walker but goes by Chase, was struck during a drive-by shooting on Chicago's South Side Thursday night.
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The shooting took place at around 5:30 p.m. in the 9900 block of South Throop Street in the Longwood Manor neighborhood, according to police.
Chase was sitting in the passenger-side backseat of a parked car with four other people when a darker, older sedan pulled up alongside and opened fire, authorities said.
His grandfather said Chase was in the car with his mother, grandmother and siblings when the shooting took place.
The little boy was shot twice in the head, and his mother drove him to Little Company of Mary Hospital. Officials said he was then transferred to Comer Children's Hospital where he was listed in critical condition.
"He's on life support and it doesn’t look good," Freeman said. "He was just a baby."
"He was walking, he was a fun, he was a fun baby," he continued, breaking down into tears. "He made your day."
No one was in custody in connection with the shooting, according to police, who said the investigation remained ongoing.
"A 1-year-old baby, a 1-year-old! My message to the perpetrators, it won’t be long, I guarantee you," community activist Andrew Holmes said. "You won’t get away with this one. You won’t get away with this one."
The family said they had no idea why the SUV was targeted and that they believed it was a case of mistaken identity.
Chicago police said the only suspect description they had was that the gunman drove off in a dark, older model sedan. A CPD spokesman tweeted that detectives are looking at traffic and crime cameras hoping for leads.
Outrage over the shooting prompted St. Sabina's Fr. Michael Pfleger to post on Facebook that he was offering a $5,000 reward for information to help find the gunman.