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2 children shot while playing football in Roseland

Friday, October 26, 2012

Two boys, 12 and 14 years old, were playing football Thursday afternoon in the Roseland neighborhood when they were hit by gunfire.

Police say Andre Rice and Ravon Thompson are innocent victims caught in gang crossfire.

The boys are hospitalized at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn. They are said to be up and eager to go home but are expected to be kept overnight.

Antonio Reid, 12, knows he could have been caught in the crossfire of a gang-related dispute that spilled out onto 108th and South Eggleston at 5:25 p.m. Thursday. Chicago police confirm three men emerged from the alley.

"I was scared and I cried, and I thought I was going to die and I prayed to God that I hope I don't die, I hope I live a wonderful life," said Antonio who was a bystander. "I laid low in these bushes and prayed until my dad came."

Witnesses say two men were chasing a third who then headed towards the other kids. Shots rang out and Antonio's buddies, Andre Rice and Ravon Thompson, were hit. There's at least one bullet hole in Andre's house.

"It's sad that he couldn't come outside and play ball yesterday," said Tkeyiam McNeil, Andre Rice's sister. "It's sad that he can't do nothing."

A half block away, Ravon's family, whose members are moving next month, describes the panic that set in.

"He came limping and then he fell and said, Ma, he got shot," said Jennifer Green, Ravon Thompson's aunt.

Residents who have lived in the neighborhood for generations described the trauma.

"Be kind to your neighbors, speak to your neighbors. All this running around angry and bitterness, it's brought on to affect the whole world, our kids," said Eddie Reid, Antonio's father. "But I am glad mine are trying, I pray to the Lord, my kids trying hard."

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