Boy, 7, Shot on Front Steps "Scared To Come Outside"

Boy was walking up the steps of his family's home, police said.

By Christian Farr and Anthony Ponce
|  Monday, Aug 19, 2013  |  Updated 8:04 PM EDT
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A 7-year-old boy is recovering after he was shot Sunday night while walking his bicycle up the steps of his family's home. Christian Farr reports.

A 7-year-old boy is recovering after he was shot Sunday night while walking his bicycle up the steps of his family's home. Christian Farr reports.

Police are questioning a "person of interest" in connection with the shooting of a 7-year-old boy in Chicago Sunday.

Tavion Jackson was released from Mt. Sinai Hospital after being struck while walking a bicycle up the front steps of his home around 9 p.m. on the 4200 block of West 5th Avenue in the West Garfield neighborhood, police said.

The boy's mother told NBC 5 Chicago Monday that her son is "traumatized and afraid to come outside."

Shots rang out at a car on the street in front of the boy's home, police said, and Jackson was hit twice, in the arm and under the arm. The shooting happened right outside Charles Sumner Math & Science Academy, where school starts in a week.

"He just raised his arm and said that he had been shot," Tavion's mother, Tasha McDuffie, told reporters.

They had just come back from a picnic, McDuffie said, and Tavion was helping his cousin bring her bike into the house while the rest of the family brought other children inside.

"He's a kid," McDuffie said. "He's supposed to be able to play outdoors. ... You should be able to go into the house and get ready for bed and go to school like normal kids, but instead he gets shot going inside the house."

Neighbors said they heard two shots, then saw two men running through the school courtyard afterward. Police scoured the school grounds, looking for a weapon. 

Residents who live in the area said the neighborhood is normally considered a safe haven for kids.

"This is the safest part of the neighborhood for them to play," resident Lavell Tubbs said, "so all the kids come out and play right here by the school, so I really didn't expect anything like this to happen."

"Nothing like this ever happened here," neighbor Jeanette Pruitt said. "This is the first time."

This was one of 28 shootings in Chicago since 6 p.m. Friday. Six people were killed. Police said shootings were down slightly from this same weekend in 2012, when there were 34 shootings and seven murders.

Police haven't yet made any arrests in the shooting that injured the 7-year-old.

"People have to wake up and be aware of what is going on around you," McDuffie said. "People need to be aware of where their kids are. ... What you do affects other families and their kids."

McDuffie said she plans to move from the block.

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