The bullet that struck 7-year-old Amari Brown on the Fourth of July while he was watching fireworks was meant for the boy's father, according to Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.
Antonio Brown, Amari's father, is a documented gang member who has been arrested 45 times on gun and theft charges, McCarthy said. His most recent arrest was in April on a gun charge.
In a press conference to address the Fourth of July weekend violence in Chicago, McCarthy charged that tougher gun laws could have prevented the tragedy that killed Amari.
"If Mr. Brown was in custody, his son is alive. That's not the case," McCarthy said.
Amari was watching fireworks with his father in the Humboldt Park neighborhood just before midnight Saturday when gunfire erupted, striking the boy and a 26-year-old woman, who survived the shooting. Police said the two victims were not related.
The boy's father said he thought the noise was the fireworks, and he didn't realize his son had been shot until Amari called out to him.
Friends and family held two vigils on Sunday in memory of Amari, who they say wanted to be a dancer or a police officer.
"Tell them you love them every day," the boy's mother said.
A $1,000 reward will be offered to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of the shooter.
Amari was one of nine people killed in shootings across Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend.