A two-year-old boy was one of two people shot and killed in Chicago Tuesday, hours after an 11-year-old girl who was shot in the head over the weekend died of her injuries.
Chicago Police suspect the shooting in the Lawndale section of the city's West Side was a "gang hit" targeting a man in a vehicle with the toddler. The 25-year-old man was also killed in the shooting.
Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said police suspect the man, a well-known gang member with an extensive criminal history, was the target of the shooting that also left a woman wounded. Police identified the woman as the man's girlfriend and the child's aunt.
No other details were released and Guglielmi said no arrests had been made.
Earlier Tuesday, local media reported that 11-year-old Takiya Holmes had died three days after she was shot in an area of the city's South Side known for heavy gang activity. Twelve-year-old Kanari Gentry Bowers, who was shot on the same day as Holmes approximately four miles away, remained in critical condition.
The shootings highlight the street gang violence that police say was largely responsible for 762 homicides 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 homicides, the highest total since January 1999 when there were 55.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's office said he will announce on Wednesday in his budget speech a push to fund 200 more state police cadets to patrol Chicago-area expressways. In 2016, there were 51 shootings on those roadways, compared to 37 in 2015. State police have said that the gun violence in the city is spilling onto the expressways.
It is unclear how Illinois can find the money to pay for the new state troopers in the midst of a budget crisis. Rauner's office would not elaborate..
The violence on the expressways also prompted the Chicago Crime Commission to ask that state and federal officials find the money to purchase a high-tech "expressway video surveillance system."
"An expressway video surveillance system would be designed to assist law enforcement in identifying and apprehending those responsible for the epidemic of shootings occurring on area expressways," J.R. Davis, the chairman and president of the commission, said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.