Two preteen girls were shot in the head on Chicago’s South Side on Saturday, in separate incidents less than 30 minutes apart.
Takiya Holmes, 11, and Kanari Bowers, 12, were both left in a critical condition by the attacks in a city that is struggling with surging gun violence.
The first shooting came around 7.15pm, about two hours after sunset, in the city’s West Englewood neighborhood.
Kanari was playing with friends on the playground at Henderson Elementary School, where she is a student, reportsABC 7.
Shots rang out, and the young girl was struck in the head.
An ambulance rushed young Bowers to Stroger Hospital in critical condition. Cops say she was not the intended target.
The second shooting came within the hour, at 7.40pm, about four miles away in the South Side’s Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood.
Eleven-year-old Takiya Holmes was sitting next to her brother in the back seat of her mother’s SUV as the mom ran errands.
The mother pulled up to the TayloRite dry cleaners, where she works, to talk to a colleague.
As soon as the woman put the car into park, shots rang out.
When the bullets stopped, the stunned mother turned to find her daughter unresponsive.
The girl, a student at Schmid Elementary who recently made the school basketball team, was rushed to Comer Children’s Hospital, where she’s had a steady stream of visitors, WGN reported.
‘They are treating her as best as they can with all kind of aggressive measures that the hospital can do for her, but it’s grim and we want prayers to go up for her,’ Patsy Holmes, Takiya’s grandmother, told ABC.
‘We want whoever saw what happened to tell the police.’
Later Saturday night, cops found 12 shell casings across the street from the TayloRite cleaners as the investigated, on the grounds of the Parkway Garden Homes.
The housing project is a base for the Black Disciples gang, the New York Times has reported.
The adjacent stretch along South King Drive has been called the most dangerous block in Chicago.
Separate shootings killed two in Chicago on Saturday, and hospitalized four.
Gun violence killed 51 people in the city in January, one more than the first month of last year.
The young victims from Saturday were both hospitalized in critical condition Sunday, and police have made no arrests in either case.