[Video] Two-year-old boy shot dead in 'gangland hit' broadcast on Facebook Live
A toddler has been shot dead in a suspected gangland hit broadcast on Facebook Live.
Lavontay White Jr was shot in the head yesterday afternoon while riding in a car, in Chicago, with his 26-year-old uncle and his uncle’s 20-year-old pregnant girlfriend.
The two-year-old boy became the latest child gun victim in the troubled city after Takiya Holmes, 11, died in hospital yesterday.
She had been hit by a stray bullet on Saturday.
Another girl, 12-year-old Kanari Bowers, was fighting for life after being shot in a separate incident the same day.
Police said Lavontay’s uncle, whose name has not been released, was a known gang member and is believed to have been the target of the shooting. He was also shot in the head and died at the scene in the city’s West Side Lawndale neighbourhood.
The pregnant woman, who was shot in the abdomen, had been on Facebook Live when a gunman jumped out of another car and opened fire.
Harrowing footage shows the boy looking out of the window and the woman smiling while listening to music before a rapid burst of gunfire is heard with at least 16 shots in the space of about five seconds.
The woman jumps from the car and starts running while holding her mobile phone. She is heard screaming and calling “Momma” before asking for help saying: “I got a bullet in my stomach! Please! Please! I can’t breathe!”
The woman was today in a stable condition in hospital. Family members said she was four months pregnant and the baby was expected to survive. Lavontay was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson criticised “legislative partners” for inaction on gun violence.
He said: “This has got to stop somewhere. Our children should not have to pay the price for our inability to hold repeat gun offenders responsible for their actions.”
Mr Johnson added: “We have very promising leads. We have video. There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll find him.”
Chicago has been plagued by violence with more than 762 killings last year - nearly 300 more than occurred in 2015 - and more than 3,500 shooting incidents.
That violence has continued this year, with January ending with 51 murders or manslaughters, the highest total since January 1999 when there were 55.
President Donald Trump tweeted last night that he would “Send in the Feds” if Chicago does not fix the “horrible carnage”.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement: “Our consciences are shaken and our hearts are broken. These shootings must be a turning point for our city.”