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Police question ‘person of interest’ in shooting of 3-year-old West Side boy

Neatre Strong (left) 51 waits with relatives outside Mount Sinai Hospital Friday night hear news her 3-year-old grandswho was shot

Neatre Strong (left), 51, waits with relatives outside Mount Sinai Hospital Friday night to hear news of her 3-year-old grandson, who was shot earlier in the evening in the 4300 block of West Monroe. | Ashlee Rezin/for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 24, 2014 11:29AM

The police said they were questioning a “person of interest” Saturday evening after a 3-year-old West Side boy was shot in the head the night before.

The gun may have been accidentally fired either by the boy himself — identified by family as James Jenkins — or a playmate, according to the police.

James was taken in critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital after the shooting, which happened around 7:30 p.m. Friday in the 4300 block of West Monroe.

The police have been trying to determine who owns the gun, which has not been recovered, and who might have left it where the children could get it.

“Everybody is just in shock right now,” said Annette Garvin, James’ aunt. “We are trying to put everything together.”

A neighbor said two people were sitting on the front porch of the home at the time of the shooting.

“There was a boom, and they ran inside,” the neighbor said.

Tammy McNeal said she was driving when she saw people running towards the middle of the block.

“Then I heard screams” ‘Someone’s been shot!’ ” McNeal said.

Neatre Strong, the boy’s grandmother, said James is an active child who “loves pizza and music.”

Ardell Strong, his great-uncle, said the youngster is “a good kid — an average everyday kid who liked to play video games.”

“This should have never happened,” he said.

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