NORTH LAWNDALE — A gunman opened fire on a man, woman and toddler driving down a West Side alley Tuesday afternoon, killing the 2-year-old boy and the man in a crime that was broadcast live on Facebook.
The pregnant woman survived a gunshot wound to her abdomen. She was recording herself on Facebook Live when the attack happened, police said.
About 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the alley behind the 2300 block of South Kenneth Avenue in the North Lawndale neighborhood, a gunman ambushed the trio, police said.
Lavontay White, Jr., 2, was shot in his head. Though the boy was briefly revived, he ultimately died at Stroger Hospital at 2:43 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. The boy’s home address was listed as unknown Tuesday night.
The 26-year-old man riding in the car, whom police described as a documented gang member, was also shot in his head and died. His name was being withheld Tuesday evening pending family notification.
His 20-year-old pregnant girlfriend — the toddler’s aunt — was shot in her stomach but lived. Her unborn child also survived, police said.
In her Facebook Live video, the woman is holding her phone, recording herself as she drives with her boyfriend in the passenger seat as they sing along to a Chief Keef song. Lavontay can be seen in the back seat.
About three minutes into the live video, a series of shots ring out and the woman flees the car and runs to the home of someone she apparently knows. “Please!! No!” she screams.
She can be heard saying she’d been shot in the stomach, a child had been shot and someone else was shot in the car.
The video goes dark after she enters the home, but the audio recording continues for more than 20 minutes. A frenzied scene of confusion and terror can be heard. Police later confirmed the live video was indeed the same shooting.
A second Facebook video apparently posted by a bystander after the shooting shows police officers arrive on the scene.
In the video, the female victims is seen holding her stomach, shaking and screaming, “I can’t…I can’t….I didn’t even do anything… I didn’t even known nobody over here.”
A bystander tells her to go lay down, saying, “She got a bullet in her stomach.”
The female victim then screams: “He died.”
“One victim of one shooting is one too many,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement Tuesday evening, “but when innocent children are caught in the crossfire of gun violence and young people have their childhood stolen by stray bullets, our consciences are shaken and our hearts are broken. Every parent, regardless of where they live, should be able to take their child for a walk to the park or a ride in the car.”
The mayor went on to say: “These shootings must be a turning point for our city. Anyone with information about these crimes owes it to the families of these children to come forward.”
After the shooting, police inspected the maroon car in the alley. It was pock-marked with bullet holes, included holes in the rear passenger side window.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson spoke at the scene of the crime.
“This has got to stop somewhere,” Johnson said. “Our children shouldn’t have to keep paying the price for our inability to hold repeat gun offenders for their actions. … My gut is telling me when we finally find this guy, we’re going to find he’s a repeat gun offender.”
No one was in custody late Tuesday afternoon, but investigators suspect the man was the intended target.
“We believe that this was a targeted shooting, so these people were looking for him,” Johnson said.
A source said police have leads on who the shooter was — and a license plate. No arrests have been made.
“We have very promising leads,” Johnson said. “We have video, so there is no doubt in my mind that we will find him. But the issue is still creating a culture of accountability for people that fire weapons, and we are just not doing that.
“I hope our legislative partners are looking right now,” Johnson continued. “We have yet another innocent child in Chicago that can lose their life over senseless gun violence.”
A woman who works in a business near Ogden and Kostner avenues said, “I just heard shots, and that was it. It had to be over 10 shots. Oh lord, I don’t feel safe over here any more.”
Another witness who works near the scene of the slayings noted police were on the block for the second time in 24 hours. On Monday evening, a drive-by shooting in the 4300 block of West Ogden Avenue led to a 15-year-old boy being grazed in his leg.
“We were in the office and I heard 5 or 6 shots,” the man said. “We heard a car spinning before it sped away. It’s not regular people doing this. It can’t be regular people.”
Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22), who visited the scene shortly after the shooting, said the shooting happened on a quiet block.
“This is an extremely isolated incident,” Munoz said. “It is a really nice residential block.”