CHICAGO - A 2-year-old Chicago boy’s slaying was captured Tuesday on Facebook Live as the car in which he, his pregnant aunt and her boyfriend were traveling was ambushed in what police said was a gang-related shooting.
Lavontay White Jr. was shot in the head. He and his aunt’s 26-year-old boyfriend, who Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said was a documented gang member, were killed in the shooting.
👶🏾🎀 #BabiesLivesMatters R.i.P Lavontay White......YoungKing 👑Posted by Cherrome Dirt Palmer on Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The boy’s 20-year-old aunt was shot in the stomach, but both she and her unborn child are expected to survive. Her boyfriend was believed to be the target of the shooting, Johnson said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
The child’s aunt was using Facebook Live around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, recording as she drove her boyfriend and nephew, whose head could occasionally be seen in the back seat. The video, which circulated on Facebook and among media outlets after the shooting, showed both adults singing into the camera as she drove.
Just over three minutes into the video, the woman looked toward the passenger side of the car and appeared to react a split second before shots rang out and glass began to shatter.
The woman cried out in pain and ran from the car, her cellphone camera jerking as she ran along a fence line and a total of 15 gunshots continued behind her. As she entered a nearby house, she screamed for help from the occupants.
The video went dark, but the conversation could still be heard.
“They shot us down!” the victim screamed to a woman, who could be heard asking, “Who? Who?”
“I think they killed my boyfriend,” the victim screamed. “I got a bullet in my stomach.”
She cried and begged for help.
“Please, please, I can’t breathe,” she cried. “Oh my God, Lord, please. I can’t go. I can’t go.”
She told the people in the house that she couldn’t go to the hospital.
“Yes, you can,” a woman said.
“No, I can’t. They’re going to take me to jail,” she cried.
The woman told her she might die. “Look at all this blood,” she said.
After a few moments, the women went outside and the house grew quiet except for the sound of a television. Another 20 minutes passed before the home’s occupants returned, at least one of them crying.
News images from the crime scene showed a maroon Oldsmobile Alero stopped in the alley where police said the victims were ambushed. Bullet holes dotted the car’s rear window, as well as the shattered passenger side windows.
Lavontay was the third child shot in Chicago since the weekend and the second to die on Tuesday. The Chicago Tribune reported that Takiya Holmes, 11, died Tuesday morning from wounds she suffered in a shooting on Saturday.
Kanari Gentry Bowers, 12, remained in critical condition and on life support Tuesday after another shooting over the weekend.
“This has just got to stop somewhere,” a visibly upset Johnson said during Tuesday’s news conference, footage of which was posted to the department’s Facebook page. “Our children shouldn’t have to keep paying the price for our inability to hold repeat gun offenders accountable for their actions.
“My gut is telling me that when we finally find this guy, we’re going to find that he’s a repeat gun offender.”
Johnson said that with “promising leads” and video evidence in the latest shooting, he had no doubt that those responsible would be caught.
“The issue is still creating a culture of accountability for people that fire weapons, and we’re just not doing that,” the superintendent said.
“We have got to step up, roll up our sleeves and do the right thing. We just cannot afford to continue to see our children being shot down for things that they have no involvement in.”
See Johnson's statement to the media below.