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Mom of teen wounded in Near North Side mass shooting heard the gunfire; "he got shot nine times"

Mother of youngest victim of downtown mass shooting speaks out
Mother of youngest victim of downtown mass shooting speaks out 02:22

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The mother of a 17-year-old boy who was wounded in a mass shooting that left two people dead and seven others injured late Thursday night on the Near North Side was just steps away when the gunfire rang out, and did everything she could to keep her son alive.

"My baby could've died in my hands. I just told him, 'Just stay up. Just talk to mommy.' Me and the officer said, 'Just keep saying your birthday.' He's been up ever since," Kimberly Saunders said.

Saunders lives downtown, and around 10:30 p.m. she was calling her 17-year-old son, Parnelius, to find out where he was past curfew, and she heard rounds of bullets from a block away.

She ran over, and found him lying on the ground outside the McDonald's restaurant and CTA station near Chicago Avenue and State Street.

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Parnelius Saunders Kimberly Saunders

A chaotic, heartbreaking video shows her pressing down on his wounds, kneeling in the street in the middle of the madness to try to stop the bleeding.

"I was standing there holding my son while he was bleeding out. It took my shirt off," she said. "A officer just explained to me, like, I covered one wound, he covered another wound."

She said, before the shooting, her son was just hanging out at the McDonald's, when a fight broke out. It escalated, and he was caught in the crossfire.

"So he got shot nine times, and we're just trying to find out now what … it's a waiting game," she said.

Now he's recovering at Stroger Hospital, in intensive care after surgery, and Kimberly wants answers.

"I'm just upset, because of the accountability of the city. As I'm out there, offices are saying, 'We don't even got enough tape for this,'" she said.

She lives downtown with her son and two daughters. She said there needs to be something done about large groups causing trouble.

"We need a separate team to get the kids off the street, because it was kids mixed with adults. So my son got shot with adult men," she said. "I got some questions about protocols right now, because I witnessed firsthand: if I wasn't there my son would have died."

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Parnelius Saunders Kimberly Saunders

Kimberly said her biggest fear now is retaliation, and she's asking anyone with information about what happened to come forward.

The other eight victims of the shooting are between 20 and 46 years old.

Another victim of the shooting spoke to CBS 2 after he was released from Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for two gunshot wounds.

"I was just with friends, just chilling. That's all. Two of my friends are dead," Shaun Davis said. "People need to start putting those guns down."

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