PARK MANOR — Tequila Robinson stood outside the emergency room at Stroger Hospital Thursday morning, waiting to see her 16-year-old son, Leroy Bryant, who had recently gotten out of surgery after being shot seven times Wednesday night.
Robinson rattled off where her son was hit: his shoulder, his leg, his back, his stomach and his neck. The boy also lost a kidney.
"That bullet has to stay in his neck," she said doctors told her. "They can't remove it because it'd be more dangerous to remove it then letting it stay."
Police said Leroy was walking with a 15-year-old girl in the 400 block of East 71st Street about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday when a gunman emerged from an alley and opened fire.
The 15-year-old girl was shot in her leg and taken to Comer Children's Hospital where her condition stabilized, police said. A 49-year-old man was shot in the groin and was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center where his condition also stabilized.
Leroy was taken to Stroger Hospital in serious to critical condition, authorities said.
Robinson said her son was on his way home from a basketball tournament in Meyering Park on the 7100 block of South Dr. Martin Luther King Drive when he was shot. The 15-year-old girl who was also shot was a friend and score keeper at the tournament, Robinson said.
Park District officials confirmed there was a basketball event at Meyering Wednesday night and said it ended about 8 p.m.
Robinson said her son, who is going to be a sophomore at Hirsch High School, is not associated with any gang. She described the teen as an avid football and basketball player, and when he isn't playing sports, he's chasing girls.
She said this summer Leroy played football in the mornings at Hirsch and played basketball at Meyering in the afternoons just "just to get himself out of the house.
"He found something to do to get away from the gangbangers, but they found him," Robinson said.
The family had moved from the West Pullman neighborhood in May. They said part of the reason they left the "Wild Hundreds" — a nickname for the area — was to escape the gang violence.
But Robinson said the area near Meyering Park is also unsafe.
Leroy's grandmother, Sharron Robinson, said she is tired of public spaces like parks not being safe for children in the neighborhood.
"They're trying to make the park a place where the kids can play, but the kids can't go to the park and play," she said. "Too many kids are getting killed. That's all we're hearing. It's kids, kids, kids getting killed."
Robinson said her son had to have a kidney removed following the shooting, but she said she is fine with that if he is okay.
As for the shooting in her neighborhood, Robinson called it "ridiculous."
"It's devastating. I mean, here it is a good child ... and you're getting caught in the crossfire from gang members who don't know how to aim."
Leroy was one of seven people, including four teens, shot overnight Wednesday.