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'Just jump in. I will help you get to the hospital.' Man in the Tesla tells of dramatic moments after 1-year-old boy was shot in head on Lake Shore Drive

Rosemary Sobol and Sarah Freishtat, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

CHICAGO — While driving north Tuesday on bustling Lake Shore Drive, heading home after getting a COVID-19 vaccination shot at a South Side Walgreens, a Gold Coast man suddenly caught sight of a crash near Monroe Drive.

As he moved closer, he saw a woman crawling out of a car that had crashed, holding a small boy, he told the Tribune on Wednesday during a phone interview.

“My baby’s been shot! My baby’s been shot!” she screamed, while grasping the motionless toddler in one arm and frantically waving her free arm to try and flag down someone, anyone.

The man, who had his driver’s side window down on his Tesla because it was so warm, said there were gawkers who drove past and then sped away. But the man, who requested that he not be identified, said his adrenaline kicked in.

“I didn’t get out of the car. It wasn’t much of a conversation. I remember her pleading: ‘Help me!’” said the man.

“Just jump in. I will help you get to the hospital,” he told the woman, who police later said was the boy’s grandmother.


A man was also with them, and with the three in his back seat, his only focus then was finding the fastest route to Northwestern Memorial Hospital several blocks away.

Police said Tuesday that the 21-month-old boy, who has been identified as Kayden Swann, had been shot in the head during a road-rage incident that began farther south on Lake Shore Drive. The shooting took place near Roosevelt Road, and the car the boy was in crashed near Monroe, police said.

The “unanimated” baby, wrapped in a blanket or towel, wasn’t crying or moving, the man said, and he could only see his torso and legs.

As he pulled into the tunnel area at the emergency room at Northwestern, they leaped out and staffers rushed to help them into the hospital.


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