Two small children were shot and critically injured within hours of each while celebrating the Fourth of July holiday with their families in Chicago parks.
A 7-year-old boy was in critical condition Thursday evening after being shot at about 7:25 p.m. at Nat King Cole Park, in the 300 block of East 85th Street, in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood. Witnesses said he was picnicking with his family for the Independence Day holiday.
The boy was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
Hours later a 5-year-old boy was shot multiple times as he sat with his family at Cooper Park, 11712 S. Ada St., in the West Pullman neighborhood.
Jaden Donald was shot in his stomach and leg just after 12:30 a.m. when someone opened fire on the crowd.
"It makes me want to go in the house with my kids and never come back out," Jaden's mother, Jasmine Dillon Donald, said.
The family was on their way home when they stopped at the park to visit some friends who were there with their children, Dillon Donald said. There were more than 20 young kids with their moms at the park at the time of the shooting, she said.
Jaden was running toward her when he was struck.
Community activist Andrew Holmes said witnesses noticed a group circling the block several times before someone in the vehicle opened fire.
"It's very disturbing that our children have to listen to firecrackers and fireworks and all of a sudden [have to] duck," Holmes said.
Two men were also hurt in the shooting.
Throughout the city, at least seven people were killed and more than two dozen others wounded in shootings since the holiday began.
Cole Park has seen its share of violence. Two people were shot there within a month's time in 2010, prompting officials to remove the basketball rims. Slain Chicago police officer Thomas Wortham, who lived nearby, was focused on restoring the park when he was shot and killed outside his parent's home three years ago.