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Shooter targeted passenger in car, hit 9-year-old, police source says

Updated: July 8, 2013 6:26AM

A known gang member riding in a car with a 9-year-old boy Wednesday evening was the intended target when the boy was shot in the chest on the South Side, according to a police source.

The boy was taken to University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital Wednesday night, but hospital spokeswoman Tiffani Washington said his condition had improved and stabilized Thursday.

“He’s breathing on his own, he’s talking, he’s doing well,” the boy’s mother, Tynisha Hilliard, 28, told reporters Thursday outside the hospital.

The boy was shot about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 6700 block of South Evans, Chicago Police said. According to a police source, the boy’s mother was driving with her children in the back seat and her boyfriend in the passenger seat. Her boyfriend is a known gang member, the source said.

Someone spotted the car and recognized it either as belonging to the boyfriend or as a car in which the boyfriend was often seen, the source said, and that person shot at the car and hit the 9-year-old boy.

The boyfriend got out of the car, according to the police source, and the mother drove the boy to the hospital.

“My reaction was to save my son. That’s all I could do. That’s my baby,” Hilliard told reporters Thursday.

“Anybody that can open up fire when there’s six children in the car is a heartless, cruel person,” she said about the shooter.

Dee Roseman, a neighbor, described Hilliard’s son as a “sweet,” creative kid who likes to read comic books in the hallways of their apartment building with Roseman’s 11-year-old son.

The two boys also make forts from boxes and old crates — adventures that sometimes spill out onto the back porch.

“They would act like they were doing camping on the back porch and stuff, and I would have to go out there and take all my sheets and stuff down,” Roseman said, with a smile. The boy’s mom had signed him up for summer camp because she was concerned about dangers on the street, Roseman said.

Roseman said she and the boy’s mother had been talking Wednesday morning about taking their kids to Great America, and Roseman’s son told her he wants to visit his friend in the hospital.

“I told him that when he gets out from [school], I would take him up there,” Roseman said. “I said, ‘Maybe if he sees you, it will make him feel better and heal better.’ ”

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