A shooting in Chicago Sunday morning left a 7-year-old boy hospitalized after he was shot while on his way to church with his parents.
Legend Barr, 7, was shot outside the Universal Community Church, where his grandmother pastors, just before 11:30 am. The shooter was hiding in the pastor's SUV when he shot toward Barr and his parents as they were parking their vehicle.
"Right when we turned down the street, the guy pulled out this really big machine gun and started shooting at the car. My son was in the back screaming, 'I got shot,'" his mother, Keshawana Barr, told Fox 32 Chicago.
"I saw that [bullet] shot through my pants, and my favorite shirt got destroyed that I got for my birthday," Barr, whose femur was shattered by the bullet, told the outlet while in a hospital bed.
The suspect was later arrested by officers who had been in the area at the time of the shooting.
"I want to commend our 5th District officers for their quick response," Deputy Chief Larry Snelling told ABC 7. "They were in this area performing post-shooting and violence reduction missions, and they were able to respond immediately. They gave chase and were able to take that suspect into custody."
According to The Christian Post, Barr is the 5th child to be shot while sitting in the back of a car in Chicago this year. The four others who were shot, however, died.
It is also the second time Universal Community Church experienced a shooting this year. In July, three people were shot during a drive-by shooting while a funeral was underway.
"Let's start pointing out these people who are out here shooting and killing children, killing each other, killing any human being," Snelling said.
Barr, who loves to play basketball, will undergo surgery for his shattered femur.
"His recovery will take months, and I will be off work for a while. This happened at the worst time. We have to be out [of] our apartment by October 15, and now I won't have the income I need to move us and pay any of our bills until [his] recovery is over in a few months," his mother, who launched a GoFundMe campaign for her son, wrote.
"Anything helps us to find another home and to also get Legend the care services he will be needing following his hospital stay after surgery. My whole family is traumatized and hurt from this senseless act of violence," Keshawana added.
So far, the online fundraiser has raised $4,308 out of its $5,000 goal.
In a Facebook post, Keshawana said she hopes the man who shot her son "goes to jail for life."
"My baby life is at a standstill for months. He has to get rods put in his leg due to his femur being shattered by the bullet. I was so scared and traumatized, and my baby is mentally not okay and is in so much pain. All our kids and my husband and mother were in our car when that dude shot at our car for no reason at all," she wrote.
"Please keep my whole family in your prayers, this is more than I can even handle right now. No man should have to run their 7-year-old son covered in blood in[to] the hospital because he was shot," she continued. "He is just a kid. This is our baby. Everyone thinks they so cool doing things like this, and they're not. I just can't even catch a break. I'm hurt. I'm angry. What am I supposed to do[?] I don't even understand this."
Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Chalabala
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.