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Gunman who killed 20-month-old boy was targeting father, Chicago police say

Sophie Sherry, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

CHICAGO -- Chicago police believe a 20-month-old boy was shot and killed over the weekend by someone who was targeting his father and mistakenly thought the man was in a car when they opened fire on the South Side, hitting the child in the back seat and grazing his mother.

The city's chief of detectives said Monday that police have a description of the gunman's car but have no one in custody for the death of Sincere Gaston in Englewood.

Police officials also reported little progress in the death of the second-youngest victim of gun violence over the weekend, 10-year-old Lena Marie Nunez, who was hit by a bullet inside her home in Logan Square when gang members a block away fired at rivals.

In this shooting too, police said they have a description of a car in the attack but no one in custody.

"You have a 1-year-old and a 10-year-old killed for no reason at all," Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said at a news conference at police headquarters.

He called on the public to come forward. "We're going to need the help of the community," he said.


Police Superintendent David Brown said he struggles to make sense of the level of violence Chicago has seen every weekend since the end of May. This past weekend, at least 18 people were killed and another 48 were wounded. The previous weekend, at least 106 people were shot in Chicago, 14 of them fatally.

For the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, typically the most violent time in Chicago, the department plans to deploy 1,200 more officers on the street. For the same holiday weekend last year, the city deployed 1,500 officers.

"I struggle to make sense of the reckless gun violence that continues to take the lives of our young people," Brown said, mentioning several times that he has been on the job just eight weeks. "We all need to be outraged. I am pleading, please help us bring these murderers to justice. We cannot do this alone."

Brown complained that too many people are being released from jail on gun and drug charges, either on electronic monitoring or through low bonds. "When they have no consequence, violence continues."


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