Man, 4-year-old girl shot in Chicago Lawn - Dallas News |

Source: Girl, 4, `unintended target` of gang members aiming for family

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A 4-year-old girl who was shot in the stomach Monday night was an "unintended target" of gunmen who were likely aiming for gang-affiliated members of the girl's family, according to a police source.

Police said the shooting happened just before 5 p.m. near West 71st and South Rockwell, in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood.

A 31-year-old man was also shot, suffering a wound in the rear. He was taken to Holy Cross Hospital, authorities said. His condition was not immediately known.

Police said the gunman escaped Monday. Authorities continued their search for the two gunmen Tuesday morning.

A law enforcement source says some of the 4-year-old's older family members are known gang members and are believed to have been the intended targets.

Family members say Khalise Weatherspoon, who turned 4 just one week ago, was playing outside in front of the house on her scooter with friends when two men ran up the alley and started firing shots.

Weatherspoon suffered a gunshot wound to the abdominal area and was initially taken to Holy Cross Hospital by a neighbor. Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said the 4-year-old was later transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital.

Khalise's grandfather, Richard Spires, arrived at Mount Sinai Hospital about 6:30 p.m., distraught. He had gotten a call from family members that his granddaughter had been shot and he rushed there from his home in Berwyn.

"I got a phone call from my son," 49-year-old Spires said. "We just celebrated her birthday last week. She was just outside playing with some of my other grandkids, in front of their house, for God's sake."

Spires said the child was outside with her mother, Kharish Porter, when she was shot.

"The shooting these guys are doing is just ridiculous. The people getting shot are the innocent people like my grandchild," an angry Spires said. "and the government is now allowing this concealed carry mess. They might as well open it up and say it's the OK Corral."

Other family members arrived at the hospital to visit throughout Monday evening, going up in small groups to see the child and comfort her mother.

Pamela Williams, Spires' sister and Khalise's great aunt, said at 7:30 p.m. that Khalise is "holding on."

"Right now, we're just all praying. We're waiting on the X-rays to come back," Williams said. "I'm angry. I'm really angry. When will this stop?"

Williams, a resident of the Ashburn neighborhood, said this is not the first time that violence has touched their family. Her son was shot in a robbery at her home last June, and her sister's son was shot last month by stray bullets in a gang shootout in their Marquette Park neighborhood.

"We as parents are suffering the loss and injury of our kids day after day," Williams' sister Theda Smith said. "It's hurtful, and it's devastating. It really is. We can't even let our kids go outside."

Witnesses told FOX 32 News that the neighborhood was packed with children playing outside when shots were fired.

The Chicago Fire Department said the child is in good condition and family members say doctors expect her to survive.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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