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Two shootings involving 2-year-olds in Chicago within period of hours

Gun safety questions after two 2-year-olds are shot in separate incidents
Gun safety questions after two 2-year-olds are shot in separate incidents 02:28

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Charges have been filed against two people in separate shootings involving 2-year-olds in Chicago.

In one case over the weekend, a 2-year-old girl got a hold of a loaded gun and shot herself in Rogers Park.

As CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reported, it is unclear whether either of the two people charged actually fired a weapon. But both were charged with endangering a child by having an unsecured, loaded gun.

Chicago Police say it was shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday when they got a call from the 1500 block of West Jonquil Terrace in the North of Howard section of Rogers Park.

The little girl found the loaded gun and shot herself. Dispatch audio said a woman called police and said her daughter got a hold of her purse – which had a firearm in it.

The 2-year-old girl was wounded in the hand. Fortunately, she was last listed in good condition after being taken to Ascension St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.

Neighbors didn't have much information Monday, other than hearing the gunshot.

Chicago Police said Monday that a 22-year-old woman was charged with two misdemeanors in the Rogers Park incident - one count of endangering a child, the other for having a gun without a valid Firearm Owners Identification card.

Meanwhile, 22 miles away and three and a half hours later, police said another 2-year-old was shot.

Police said around 10:30 p.m., a 2-year-old boy was playing in a bedroom in the 7900 block of South Hermitage Avenue in Auburn Gresham - when a gun fired.

The little boy was also hit in the hand. He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in fair condition.

Police wouldn't say who fired the gun in that case. But a 24-year-old man was charged with endangering a child - and warrant was issued for his arrest.

"Two 2-year-olds," community activist Andrew Holmes said Sunday night. "Get a lock. Lock these guns down. Search these homes - because these two children may have permanent damage."

Why are Chicago toddlers getting access to loaded guns? And what's being done about it?

A 2021 study from Lurie Children's Hospital found that 22 percent of city parents reported having a firearm at home - and nearly half of those Chicago parents store them loaded.

Charges filed after separate shooting incidents involving toddlers 02:37

Meanwhile, in January, two different laws went into effect.

One of the laws required the state to develop a public awareness campaign on how to safely store a gun. Local jurisdictions have taken it upon themselves to host demonstrations on how to do so.

The second law requires safe gun storage be added to the safety education lessons taught in Illinois schools. But that law would only provide school-age kids with instruction - and unfortunately, would not have prevented these toddler cases.

We reached out to the Illinois Department of Public Health for an update on the public awareness campaign, five months after the law went into effect.

Late Monday, we still had not heard back.

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