Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Monday, July 9, 2012

10-year old Chicago girl shot twice while cooling off at fire hydrant

Kitanna "Kiki" Peterson, age 10
A 10-year old girl, Kitanna "Kiki" Peterson, was cooling off in the spray of a fire hydrant while under the supervision of her mother's boyfriend.  Someone opened fire on the street, hitting the girl twice, once in the abdomen and once in the left arm.  Her mother's boyfriend was hit once in the right hand.

From an article and video:
"I thought she was dead," said [Kitanna's mother, Kyesha] Kohnke, 24. "It's sad. I'm happy that she's still here. But it's really sad."
Kitanna Peterson and Kohnke's boyfriend were hit by gunfire as they cooled off near a fire hydrant around 11:20 p.m. Tuesday in the 200 block of North Leamington Avenue in the Austin community, according to Chicago police.

"Kiki" was shot in the left arm and abdomen, the boyfriend in the right hand. Police said the girl's condition was stabilized at Stroger but she may need more surgery.

The two were among 15 people shot during a six-hour burst of violence across the city overnight. 

"I couldn't even leave the house without her being with me," Kohnke said, cracking a smile. "She's getting to that stage of, 'I'm too old for this.' "

Kitanna's uncle, Jeremy Leonard, 20, called his niece "one of those happy girls who likes being around her auntie."

"For someone that age dealing with something like that. . .It's the worst feeling," said Leonard, the father of a year-old daughter. "I couldn't imagine something like this happening."

Police provided no details of the shooting, but said they were investigating whether the boyfriend's gang connections had something to do with it. He has a lengthy criminal record, police said.

Residents of the neighborhood said it is normally quiet and didn't know what was behind the shooting.

"It makes me concerned about why this is going on, what is the reason for this?" said Alma Carter, 70, who has lived on the block for 31 years.

Ebony Burnett, 26, said she just moved into the neighborhood from Bartlett and feels safe, though she is wary about letting her toddler outside. "I don't let my daughter out to play," she said.

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