Baby Girl Fatally Shot While Sitting in Back of Car in Chicago

A 5-month-old child who was fatally shot late on Friday while sitting inside a car in South Shore, Chicago, has been identified as Cecilia Thomas, according to officials.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said the baby girl was shot in the head at around 6:45 p.m., ABC7 reported. She was taken to a local children’s hospital, where the infant died from her injuries.

Police said the car Cecilia was inside as a passenger was approached by an unknown vehicle, and someone inside that car opened fire. No one was taken into custody as of early Saturday.

The same shooting also wounded another man, who was in a separate car, police said. He was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center and is reportedly in good condition.

A nurse at the children’s hospital told the network that she saw medical officials bringing the child in for treatment, explaining that she had never seen anything like this in her life.

Andrew Holmes, a crisis responder and community activist, said the suspect’s vehicle is possibly a red Crysler. Authorities have not officially released details on the suspected vehicle or shooter.

“It’s supposed to have been a female shooter, and my message to her, it won’t be long because I hope one of these cameras or somebody got her information and knows how she looks,” Holmes said, FOX32 reported.

“We understand it may have been two cars shooting back and forth at each other. We’re not going to stand for this in this city,” he added. “We need this city to do what we got to do to put eyes on this young lady, on this driver until both of them have been arrested because this is disgusting, this is a disgrace, this is as low as you can get. And that bullet went through the back of that car and hit this baby in the head.”

Chicago mayoral candidate and community activist Ja’Mal Green offered his condolences to the victim’s family, announcing a reward for information in connection to the case that can lead to an arrest.

“My heart breaks for this young girl [and] her family,” Green said in a statement on Twitter. “I am offering a $5,000 reward NOW to someone who comes forward to give answers that can lead to an arrest [and] conviction! $2,500 when they are arrested, $2,500 when convicted.”

“It’s time to get to the root of this violence so we can create a better city for our children,” he added. “I raise my three sons here and I couldn’t imagine one of my young boys being shot, killed, or traumatized by gunfire.”

According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois is ranked around the middle when it comes to firearm mortality by state. The death rate in Illinois is 14.1 deaths per 100,000 people. Top-ranked Mississippi has a 28.6 death rate.

Chicago employs much stricter gun laws than what the state of Illinois implements. Chicago’s laws ban the possession of certain semi-automatic firearms that the city defines as assault weapons and certain firearms accessories.

In 2021, 797 people were murdered, which is 25 more than in 2020, according to data from the Chicago Tribune. The data shows that 2021 was the worst year for homicides in Chicago in 25 years.