LOGAN SQUARE — Someone opened fire on a family standing outside a house party in Logan Square Monday evening, hitting a 6-year-old girl in her back and leaving her in critical condition.
Around 8:10 p.m., the girl was outside the party in the 2100 block of North Bingham Street when someone drove up and fired multiple shots out their window before fleeing, according to Officer Hector Alfaro, a Chicago Police spokesman.
One witness said she heard as many as nine shots.
"I was inside alone, and I heard people driving up and then, boom boom boom boom!" said Ana D-J, who declined to say her full last name. "Then everyone started screaming. I went out and saw a little girl on the ground bleeding, and someone picked her up. Then I screamed too."
A relative brought the girl to St. Mary's Hospital, and she was later transferred to Stroger Hospital, Alfaro said. She was listed in critical condition with a gunshot wound in her back, police said.
The shooting happened in a normally quiet corner of Logan Square. A short walk from Chase Elementary School, the small section of neighborhood wedged between the edge of Logan Square and Bucktown is teeming with families.
Kids playing on the sidewalk and in the yards along nearby streets are a common sight, especially during summer months when ice cream trucks circle the blocks on a steady rotation. A firehouse and the Shakespeare District police station are within walking distance.
But gang tags are also a common sight in the area. One resident who lives around the corner on Stave Street said he never walks down Bingham Street because of a few houses on the block, but overall feels safe in the area after living there for a long time.
After the shooting, neighbors gathered in front of a nearby corner grocery store at Francis Place and Stave Street, exchanging what little information was known about the shooting as a helicopter circled above.
Two residents from down the block were worried about their friend who lives on Bingham Street and has a young daughter. They asked a young boy who lives on the corner of Bingham Street and Francis Place to describe the victim, to make sure it wasn't their friend's child.
Savannah, who declined to give her full name, moved into an apartment on the block a month earlier. She heard 8 or 9 shots while sitting in her living room followed by people screaming, "like how you'd react when a little girl is shot," she said.
Savannah slammed her own window shut and noticed four men walking off quickly down Bingham and turning north on Francis, away from the shooting, she said.
"They shot Betsy," she heard someone scream repeatedly. "It's really traumatic, not knowing the outcome" of the girl's wounds, Savannah said.
Despite the shooting, Savannah said she "really loves living over here." After hearing the shots, she joined nearby neighbors from her building who were also concerned and the sense of community "made me feel safe."
Simon Fernandez, who's lived on the block since 1986, said neighbors have long been concerned about the house where the shooting happened.
"The rest of the block is good, but that one has been a problem for years and years," said Fernandez, a retired construction worker who was tending his outdoor garden when the shots rang out. "They're always making noise, partying, arguing, drinking and sometimes shooting."
Tuesday morning, as Ana D-J walked her 11-year-old granddaughter to school, she wondered aloud whether anything could be done to stop the violence.
"Everybody on this block's got kids, and we want to know if they can still be safe to play outside," she said. "These guys come around shooting sometimes, and we're always praying nothing happens to any of the kids. Well, it happened."
After 12 years living on the block with her granddaughter, D-J said, it may be time for the family to move.
"I don't know where we're going to go," she said, "but it's got to be far, far away from here."
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