Teen dies in shooting but doctors deliver son: 'The baby is fighting for his life'
Charinez Jefferson, 17, was shot and killed while walking with a group of friends on the 3000 block of West 64th Street. She was 6 months pregnant. The baby was saved, but is in serious condition. (Family photo)
"The baby is pretty much fighting for his life," Debbie Jefferson said of her grandson. "He lost some oxygen and the doctors say there could be health issues. I believe in God, I believe everything is going to be OK."
Jefferson's daughter, Charinez Jefferson, 17, had just gone out to the store Tuesday night and was talking to friends when a car drove up and shots rang out.
Jefferson said she had just talked to her daughter on the phone a few minutes before some of her daughter's friends ran to her apartment and said Jefferson had been shot around the corner.
"I really don't know what happened," Jefferson said. "She was going to the corner store. She stopped to talk to a guy she knew and someone drove up and opened fire. That's what I've been told. I got down there but they already roped it off. I couldn't get to her.
"I don't believe she was the intended target. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Police said Charinez Jefferson was walking with a group of friends in the 3000 block of West 64th Street at about 10:35 p.m. when a gunman got out of a car and ran up, firing, said News Affairs Officer Ronald Gaines.
"One of them yelled, 'He's got a got a gun,' and everyone scattered, Gaines said.
Jefferson was found lying on the street with gunshot wounds to her body and head, said Fire Department spokesman Will Knight. When paramedics arrived, she was in full cardiac arrest.
Charinez Jefferson was placed on advanced life support and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn as paramedics worked to save the baby, Knight said.
Jefferson was declared dead at 11:11 p.m. at the hospital, but doctors were able to deliver the baby.
"It was a valiant effort by our emergency department team -- the physicians and nurses and therapists -- to deliver the baby successully from a patient who was lethally shot," hospital spokesman Mike Maggio said. "Now, in the case of the baby, all we can do is wait and see."
The baby is Charinez Jefferson's seond child. Charinez had a boy, Kamarrea, who is 16 months, Jefferson said.
"She became a mother at 16 years old,” Jefferson said as she sat on her couch and cried while holding photos of her daughter. “And she stepped up to the plate and accepted that responsibility.
"She was a wonderful mother. She was outgoing, she was a leader," Jefferson added. "The hardest part is for a child who is 16 months old to begin to wonder, 'Where is my momma?' "
Charinez attended an alternative school after her son was born. She also helped her mother, who had breast cancer and now has bone cancer, according to Jefferson's aunt, Devorah Hope.
"She was a big supporter of this family," Hope said. "There's nothing her mom couldn't ask her to do, and she'd still take care of her responsibilities."
Police said they don't know if Jefferson was the intended target. No arrrests have been made.