Hamilton

'Am I going to die?': 7-year-old Hamilton boy wounded in shooting

A seven-year-old boy who is in hospital recovering from gunshot wounds was an "unintended victim" of a targeted shooting that took place at his home in the city's east end, Hamilton police say

Boy was on the main floor of his house when he was hit by gunfire from outside

Police are looking for at least two people after a shooting on Gordon Street that sent a seven-year-old boy to hospital in critical condition. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Police say a seven-year-old boy shot in his own home Thursday night was wounded when a gunman fired multiple times into the house from the rear yard.

The gunman came from the street, pulled the trigger and fled from the yard in Hamilton's Crown Point neighbourhood into a vehicle waiting on Gordon Street that sped away east.

The seven-year-old, described as "unintended victim" of a targeted shooting, is in hospital recovering, Det.-Sgt. Jim Callender said Friday.

"These are the investigations that really strike home with you. These are the ones that you really, you know, they're truly innocent victims," he said. 

"The child had nothing to do with this and [was] brought into the situation that they had no control over."

Callender said bullets entered the home through a window and the frame of the window on the main floor.

"There was no warning, or anything that we could say that precipitated the events as they unfolded."

Det.-Sgt. Jim Callender says the boy was an 'unintended victim' of a targeted shooting. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

He said that at the time of the shooting, there were people present in the home who are known to police.

"I have to say that it's ongoing as to why this particular [house] was targeted. Just the nature of what occurred dictates that it is a targeted location."

Police said the car has been described as a "light-coloured four-door sedan" and they believe at least two people were involved. As of Friday morning, police do not have any suspects.

Watch: Neighbour describes how he helped the young shooting victim.

A Hamilton man was the first person on scene to help a 7-year-old boy who had been shot from the rear yard while standing in his home. 3:21

There were 47 shootings in Hamilton last year, of which eight were homicides. There have been three shootings this year, although this was the first involving a victim. 

Danny, a neighbour who wouldn't give his last name, said he applied pressure to the boy's wounds. The little boy was shot in the hand and the abdomen, he said.

Police said the boy was shot at least once and suffered two injuries, but can't confirm if those injuries came from more than one bullet.

Danny said he heard two gunshots and walked down the street to see where they were coming from, then heard a woman screaming from the house. He went in and found the little boy shot.

"He said, 'It hurts and it's hard to breathe,'" Danny said. He said he suggested the boy sit up a bit and that seemed to make him a bit more comfortable.

"Then he kept asking me: 'Am I going to die?'"

The little boy plays in the neighbourhood, Danny said, and plays with his dogs. "He's a good kid. He's a good kid."

Det.-Sgt. Jim Callender and other officers enter a home on Gordon Street where a seven-year-old boy was struck with at least one bullet in what police think was a targeted shooting. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)
Police say a gunman shot through the back window of the Gordon Street home. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Callender said a mother and her two kids live in the home. The other child was inside during the shooting, but is in "great condition" with their family.

Detectives are looking for as much evidence as possible and said neighbours have been helpful.

"There's plenty of video surveillance in this area that we have collected and we're continuing to collect today," Callender said.

"There's always that piece of information that will put that puzzle together for us and we're always looking for that one little piece."

Police are also trying to determine what kind of firearm was used.

Justin Bailey says gunshots aren't rare in the neighbourhood. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Justin Bailey, who lives down the street, said it's the fourth shooting he's seen in the neighbourhood in two years. 

"I could throw a baseball to hit where the last shooting was," he said early Friday morning. The little boy who was shot Thursday often played in the neighbourhood, he said, and went to the same school as Bailey's kids.

"It's a tragedy that it hit a child. I hope to God that it wasn't a child that was targeted."

About the Author

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca

With files from Bobby Hristova