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10-year-old shot when two men fought over gun, witnesses say

Homicide Watch Chicago
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Updated: June 4, 2013 6:18AM

On Marie Naylor’s street in the Austin neighborhood, front doors are often left unlocked — in case gunfire erupts and parents need to quickly pull their children inside.

That’s what happened Wednesday evening, when two men began tussling over a handgun while a dozen or so kids were out tossing a football, enjoying the summer-like weather in the 900 block of North Waller.

Just before it happened, Naylor was inside her home, getting ready to call her 13-year-old daughter inside to help with the dishes.

“I heard a gunshot, which made me get up and run because I knew the kids were playing outside,” Naylor explained, standing on her porch.

The burst of gunfire, which occurred about 7:50 p.m., had kids running for their homes, including a 10-year-old boy who lives across the street from Naylor.

In the confusion, Naylor didn’t initially realize anyone had been shot. But then Naylor went across the street, where the 10-year-old was holding his bleeding backside and screaming for his mama.

“He was very brave,” said Naylor, who sometimes drives the boy to school. “He kept saying, ‘Miss Marie, I want my mama.’ I say, ‘She coming.’”

The boy was at Mt. Sinai Hospital Thursday morning in stable condition, his mother, Lashonda Jones, told the Chicago Sun-Times. Police said the boy had been shot in the buttocks.

Katina Boyd, the boy’s aunt, said four of her children were outside at the time of the shooting — all playing football.

Boyd said she didn’t recognize the two men “tussling over a gun,” but said the dispute appeared to have begun a block or so away and then made its way onto North Waller.

“I never made it into the house,” said Boyd, tears running down her face. “I had to shelter in my car.”

Boyd, who lives in the same building as the boy and his mother, said her teenage son used a towel to keep pressure on the boy’s wound until paramedics arrived.

In a brief conversation, Jones said her son is doing well.

“He says he loves me,” Jones said.

Naylor can no longer hear those words from her son. She lost Benjamen McKinney to gun violence in 2007 — just a few blocks from her home.

That’s why she is especially attuned to the crackle of gunfire and angry at its increasing regularity in her neighborhood. She remembers getting the phone call about her son’s death.

“You already know you can get that phone call, “ Naylor said, “That’s probably the worst phone call you can get in your life.”

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