CHICAGO — A quiet family movie night on the couch took a scary turn when bullets started flying through a West Humboldt Park living room window Tuesday evening.
The shooting happened just before 9:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of North Monticello Avenue, according to the family and police.
Maya Wideman, 41, was watching the animated movie "Cars" with four of her six kids, ages 14, 4, 3 and 12, and her 18-year-old niece on the couches in her sister's living room when gunshots rang out and several bullets came flying through the windows, according to Wideman.
Wideman immediately told all the kids to get down, which is when her 14-year-old, Jamal, said his right foot was in burning pain and blood filled the carpet, she said
The police were called and an ambulance took Jamal to Norwegian American Hospital, where he was treated and released, according to police.
Wideman said Jamal is recovering well. The doctors told him he will heal and he even should be able to run track again this school year. But he's not faring so well emotionally. Wideman described Jamal as "traumatized." She said he refused to sit on the couch the day after the shooting and demanded to go stay with his grandmother across town.
Wideman and her family are only staying in the West Humboldt Park house temporarily while they complete inspections on their new home in suburban Plainfield, where they have lived for years. In fact, they had only been living in West Humboldt Park for about three weeks when the shooting occurred.
She described Jamal as a "suburban kid" with no ties to gangs. He starts at Plainfield East High School in the fall.
"We're not here. He wasn't even raised here. He doesn't even go outside and associate. He's a track star, and this is not his environment," Wideman said of Jamal.
Wideman blamed the shooting on the drug dealers on the block who frequently congregate on the corner across from the house. On Wednesday, a group of people were seen standing on the corner. Police could not immediately provide a motive for the shooting.
"They were shooting across the street because there's drugs across the street ... heavy," she said.
Based on where the bullets pierced through the walls, Wideman said one of them could've easily hit Jamal or one of her other children in the head if anyone of them were sitting up straight or on one of the couch legs.
"Thank God it wasn't my son's head. It was by the grace of God," Wideman said.
Originally from the West Side, Wideman and her family are planning to move out of her sister's West Humboldt Park house in the middle of September and settle into their new suburban home. Her husband works as a teacher in Plainfield. After the shooting, Wideman said she's eager to get out of the city.
She said she's more concerned, however, about the residents who don't have an opportunity to leave.
"I'm more nervous about the people in the area because I have a place to go to eventually and be out of this environment and build my own life," she said. "I still feel sorry for the people who have no choice but to raise their children in this environment because they don't have the money to afford somewhere better."
As of Wednesday afternoon, police said no one is in custody for the shooting. Detectives are investigating.