CHICAGO — The 9-year-old boy shot in what police say is a gang-related incident is recovering, his mother said Thursday.
Tykeece Hilliard was shot in the chest at about 5:30 Wednesday evening as his family drove home from dinner in the 6700 block of South Evans Avenue. The boy's mother disputes the narrative laid out by police, who said a man in the car - who they described as her boyfriend - was targeted for his gang ties.
"Anybody who can open fire when six kids are in the car is a heartless, cruel person," said 28-year-old Tynisha Hilliard. "I don't have no remorse for him. I just want justice."
Hilliard said she had taken her six children to McDonald's, and was driving home in her red 2011 Chevrolet Aveo when the shots were fired. All the children were sitting in the back of the car, as Hilliard drove, while a platonic male friend sat in the passenger seat, she said.
That's when Hilliard said she saw a group of boys and the shot were fired. She doesn't know who pulled the trigger, or if the group was responsible.
But her instincts kicked in immediately, and she sped off to Comer Children's Hospital, where Tykeece was listed in critical condition.
"My reaction was to save my son," she said outside the hospital Thursday. "That's all I could do - save my son."
Hilliard said she was at the hospital all night but that her son was stable at the hospital Thursday morning, and said the man in the car stayed with her at the hospital. Police have said the man bailed from the vehicle before it arrived at the hospital.
Tykeece is recuperating, and doctors said he'll make a full recovery, she said.
"He's fine. He's stable. Everything is moving along," Hilliard said, though she added, "He's going to be here for a while."
A police source said her boyfriend is a known gang member and was the target in the shooting, not Hilliard's young son. The shooter either spotted him or recognized the car they were driving in, police said.
No one is in custody, and the investigation is ongoing, cops said.
"We're praying and we're putting everything in God's hands," Hilliard said. "Hopefully the person who did this will come forward."