ROCKFORD (WREX) — Mayor Tom McNamara has responded to a 3-year-old boy being shot and killed in Rockford on Thursday.
Details on the shooting are limited, but Rockford police say it happened in the 800 block of N. Court St. around 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
Police say the boy was inside of the apartment when shot in the head and was taken to the hospital where he later died from the injuries sustained in the shooting.
While at a press conference regarding COVID-19 in the Winnebago County, the mayor was asked about the shooting. Here's his response:
"The last thing I did at my house today was kiss my 3-year-old Maliki John goodbye. My heart goes out to that entire family. I can't understand the ludicrous behavior going on in our city right now. I understand we have a couple of gang's that are fighting and they account for a majority of the homicides. I understand those two gangs more than likely will not come forward with information and that's why you're seeing our closed rate reduced this year compared to previous years. But the thing I can't understand though is that these individuals who have been killed, who their lives have been taken far too soon—specifically today's 3-year-old...a 3-year-old....a 3-year-old....I hope, I hope people will talk, but on far too many of the previous homicides where we know there have been witnesses, more than a dozen witnesses in some cases, and still no one wants to talk. That's not helpful for anyone in our city. And now today, a 3-year-old has lost their life. A 3-year-old. A 3-year-old should be playing with blocks inside their house feeling safe. I mean...a 3-year-old should be playing with little cars and trucks and enjoying their life and not have any worries. Shouldn't know what COVID is, shouldn't know what any of this craziness is. They should know they are loved and they're cared for and that they're in a safe place because they're in their home. It's ludicrous. We will do absolutely every single thing we can in our power to bring this person to justice if it is a homicide. And I hope the courts do everything they can. Remember, we are one piece of the crime issue that's going on...We also need to ensure if you're committing a violent crime in our community that you are held accountable for that violent crime that you committed in our community."
Rockford police echo the same sentiment when it comes to people coming forward with more information.
"When you see a young victim like this it brings it closer to home and makes it more emotional and more tragic. But we know this crime like every other crime, somebody knows something, there's somebody in the community who has information that can help us solve the case," said Rockford Police Assistant Deputy Chief Kurt Whisenhand while on scene of the shooting.
There are no suspects at this time, according the police.
Rockford police say they're investigating the shooting as a homicide, which would be the city's 26th homicide this year. There were 18 homicides in all of 2019, according to police.
If you have any information regarding the 3-year-old boy being killed or any other homicides, contact the Rockford Police Department at 815-966-2900 or leave an anonymous tip with Rockford Area Crime Stoppers at 815-963-7867.