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4-year-old to head home after being shot in Portage Park

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Updated: September 14, 2013 6:09AM

A 4-year-old girl was expected to be released from the hospital Monday after being shot in the leg near Portage Park when a gunman sprayed bullets at the car in which she was riding Sunday, her mother said.

“To be honest, she was OK until they started poking her with needles,” said Maggie Matos, Shyla Rivera’s mother, who lives on the Northwest Side.

Matos’ 17-year-old son, Javier Rosario, was hit in the thigh when the bullets started to fly, his mother said. Rosario is at home recovering, she said.

What led a gunman to open fire about 10:30 p.m. near Central and West Hutchinson remains unclear.

Matos said another of her sons, Jose Silva, 18, was at the wheel of her Nissan Altima, taking two friends home, and Shyla tagged along because she wanted to stop for chicken wings along the way. The group — including Shyla and Rosario — encountered three people in a silver-colored car, Matos said, and her boys didn’t recognize the people inside the other car. At some point, the driver of the silver car pulled to the side of the road, parked and someone inside opened fire on the Altima.

Matos said the gunman fired at least nine shots. The mother said she’s grateful to one of her son’s friends, who tried to shield Shyla from the bullets.

As the gunman continued to fire, Silva quickly turned around and drove to a 7-11 convenience store several blocks away at Irving Park and Central, where he had seen a police officer earlier.

Shyla and another victim were brought into the store for basic medical attention, according to an employee, who said he was surprised to walk out of a backroom to see the gunshot victims.

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