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Where is Obama? : Gunfire often connected to gangs hitting Chicago children

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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago mother thought she knew when it was safe to take her children outside, that she could protect them by sizing up and avoiding the people whom trouble seemed to follow.

Then a bullet fired from a gun that D’Antignay Brashear never saw pierced the cheek of her 4-year-old son, Kavan Collins. It fractured the boy’s jaw and shattered some teeth before it went out his other cheek, all while he held his mother’s hand.

“He was with his mother, and it wasn’t like I was doing something wrong, having him out after hours,” said Brashear, a 21-year-old single mother of two, referring to the shooting that happened before sundown June 28 on Chicago’s South Side. “I thought he was safe.”

Kavan is part of a growing roster of children who have been shot in the city this year amid a spike in killings and shootings. More than 330 killings have occurred in the city.

So far, no child has died from the gunfire that’s often connected to gangs. Children have been struck while doing normal kid things like playing with sparklers, drawing on the sidewalk or holding a mother’s hand.

Police records through the end of June showed 15 children younger than 10 years old had been shot, which is seven more young shooting victims than the same span last year.

Four more young children have been shot since the start of July, including a 6-year-old girl who was sitting on a porch Tuesday with her mother and grandmother when a bullet fired a block away struck her in the torso, critically injuring her. Police said someone in a caravan of cars was firing at a group of men on the street.

The shootings, mostly in neighborhoods on the South and West sides, underline what the residents already knew: It’s a dangerous time for the city’s children as well. – READ MORE

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