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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

That was the last time he saw them together, though the man later thanked him.

Kayden remained in very critical condition Wednesday in the pediatric ICU at Lurie Children’s Hospital, where he had been taken Tuesday from Northwestern. He was in a medical coma to protect his brain and was on a ventilator, Dr. Marcelo Malakooti, associate chief medical officer and medical director of the pediatric ICU at Lurie’s, said at a news conference Wednesday.

He has a severe brain injury. His condition had not worsened between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, though Malakooti said he remained “incredibly ill.”

“The fact that he hasn’t worsened, I would say, provides us with a cautious hope,” he said.

The man who was driving the Tesla told the Tribune he didn’t want to leave the hospital after transporting the boy there.

“The excitement level was pretty high and my adrenaline was running,” he said.

After what seemed about two minutes, two Chicago police officers who knew about the gunfire and crash arrived at the hospital.

He told them what happened, and they were able to gather evidence, including blood from his back seat. The man also shared the video from a dashcam that is installed in his Tesla.

“I’m glad we could get there in time. I didn’t know the baby had been shot in the head. The truth is, as fast as this happened, I have no idea what they even looked like,” he said of his passengers.

 

The tech professional, in his 40s, said he could not have lived with himself if he didn’t stop.

“I mean, they needed help,” he said. “Ultimately, I could not have that on my conscience. … I could be inconvenienced, and that was the cause of someone’s death?’'

Police said the shooter and the victims did not appear to know each other, but the dispute was believed to be over someone not letting another driver into their lane of traffic.

Kayden was in a child safety seat in the back seat of the car, a white Lincoln, according to a police report that cited preliminary information. His grandmother was in the front passenger seat and her boyfriend was driving.

A witness told police that an SUV and the Lincoln began driving erratically and an altercation started somewhere between 35th Street and 31st Street on Lake Shore Drive, the report said.

Around Roosevelt Road, someone in the SUV began firing shots at the Lincoln, hitting it several times and hitting the boy, the report said. Another witness said the grandmother’s boyfriend returned fire. The grandmother’s boyfriend was arrested at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for having a 9 mm Bersa handgun, the report said.

Police had not announced any charges for the man Wednesday and said no one else was in custody.

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