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4-year-old girl shot while playing outside Southwest Side home

Updated: August 31, 2013 6:29AM

A week after she turned 4, Khalise Weatherspoon was shot in the stomach while playing outside her Southwest Side home Monday, according to her grandfather. Police continued their search Tuesday morning for two gunmen.

Khalise and a 31-year-old man were shot just before 5 p.m. near 71st and Rockwell in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, Chicago Police said.

Khalise and the man were initially taken to Holy Cross Hospital. The child was transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital, Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said. The man was shot in the buttocks. His condition was not known.

Khalise’s grandfather, Richard Spires, arrived at Mount Sinai Hospital about 6:30 p.m., distraught. He had gotten a call from family members that his granddaughter had been shot and he rushed there from his home in Berwyn.

“I got a phone call from my son,” said Spires, 49. “We just celebrated her birthday last week. She was just outside playing with some of my other grandkids, in front of their house, for God’s sake.”

Spires said the child was outside with her mother, Kharish Porter, when she was shot. He said his daughter told him that two men suddenly ran out of the alley and began shooting, and police confirmed that.

“The shooting these guys are doing is just ridiculous. The people getting shot are the innocent people like my grandchild,” an angry Spires said. “And the government is now allowing this concealed carry mess. They might as well open it up and say it’s the OK Corral.”

Throughout the evening, other family members arrived, going up in small groups to see the child and comfort her mother.

“Khalise is holding on,” Pamela Williams, Spires’ sister and Khalise’s great aunt, said at 7:30 p.m. “Right now, we’re just all praying. . . . We’re waiting on the X-rays to come back. I’m angry. I’m really angry. When will this stop?”

Williams, of the Ashburn neighborhood, said this is not the first time that violence has touched their family. Williams’ son was shot in a robbery at her home last June, and her sister’s son was shot last month by stray bullets in a gang shootout in their Marquette Park neighborhood.

“We as parents are suffering the loss and injury of our kids day after day,” said Williams’ sister, Theda Smith. “It’s hurtful, and it’s devastating. It really is. We can’t even let our kids go outside.”

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