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Boy, 7, shot in his head at Chatham park

This car 85th Street near locatiwhere 7-year-old boy was shot July 4th had five bullet holes. |  Art Golab-Sun-Times

This car on 85th Street, near the location where a 7-year-old boy was shot on July 4th, had five bullet holes. | Art Golab-Sun-Times photo

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Updated: August 6, 2013 6:40AM

A 7-year-old boy was shot twice in his head Thursday evening at a Chatham park on the South Side, officials said.

The boy was with family members and friends when he was hit by gunfire from a male in Cole Park at 7:25 p.m. in the 300 block of East 85th Street, police said. The suspect had come to the park with another male before shooting.

After the shooting, the suspect fled the park in a vehicle, officials said.

The youngster was taken in critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, officials said.

Emanuel Lyles, the boy’s uncle, said the boy is expected to survive.

“I think [the city’s shootings are] like a curse, because they never get the right person,” Lyles said.

Police said they do not believe the youngster was the intended target. The youngster was near alleged gang members when he was shot, police said.

The boy was apparently at a picnic with his family, said some witnesses. Lyles said the boy also was with his mother.

Some people said they saw a car circling the park before someone got out and opened fire.

The Rev. John Murray said he was sitting on his porch when he heard a series of pops. Since there were fireworks going off in the neighborhood he was unsure if the noise was gunfire.

“I said if nobody moves its cool,” Murray said. “But then I saw a lot of people running out of the park like buffalo and I knew someone had been shot.”

A car parked on 85th Street in front of the park apparently had been hit by the gunfire — one tire was shot flat and several bullet holes were on its side.

“No place is safe anymore,” Murray said.

The park is near the site of where Thomas E. Wortham IV was killed in May 2010 when some men tried to rob him of his motorcycle in front of his parents’ home in Chatham.

Contributing: Brian Slodysko

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