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VIDEO: Father Captures Toddler's Reaction to Edgewater Gunshots

By Benjamin Woodard | March 13, 2014 10:21am
Hazel Reacts to Edgewater Shooting
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

EDGEWATER — As the father of a 2-year-old girl filmed his daughter looking through their home's window at the fresh snowfall Wednesday, three gunshots rang out.

"What was that? What was that?," the girl, Hazel, can be heard saying in the 14-second video after the quick succession of what sounds like gunfire.

The girl's father, Javier, who wished only to be identified by his first name, said he posted the video to YouTube to draw attention to an uptick in violent crime on their Kenmore Avenue block, including Wednesday's daylight shooting of a 23-year-old just outside their front window.

Javier has since removed the video to conceal his identity, but shared it with DNAinfo Chicago to publish and, in turn, draw attention to the crime.

"I was mostly upset that it was happening again. This was the third or fourth shooting since December," said Javier, 34, who has lived in the area for six years with his wife, Lee Ann. "My daughter was asking me a question that I had no idea how to answer."

On the same block, two other men were injured in a shooting on Dec. 21.

Lee Ann said she feared for her family's safety.

"What made us want to talk about this is that it's happening when it's cold; I couldn't imagine what will happen when it thaws," she said. "We're scared."

The video taken with Javier's cellphone shows Hazel looking out the window at the snow below.

"Hazel, what are you mad about?" Javier says.

"The snow," says Hazel, as what sounds like three gunshots ring out while a garbage truck is seen driving north on Kenmore.

"What was that?" she says, turning from the window and looking toward the camera. "What was that?"

Javier said he immediately ended the recording and moved his daughter away from the window, trying to distract her from what had happened.

"That's not the type of thing you can or want to explain to your toddler," he said.

Lee Ann said she and her husband plan to stand up to crime on their block, and hope the "horrifying" moment captured on video sparks others to do the same.

"It doesn't belong anywhere," she said of the crime. "But it certainly doesn't belong on my street at 7:40 a.m. when kids are going to school."