CHICAGO – The man driving a car carrying a toddler who was wounded during a shooting on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive this week did not exchange gunfire with the offender who shot his grandson as alleged by police, Cook County prosecutors told a judge Thursday.
Jushawn Brown, 43, identified as the child’s grandfather, was given a $5,000 bond for illegal gun possession for the gun police found in his vehicle after the shooting that critically injured the infant. Police earlier said the man had been charged with unlawful use of a weapon.
Prosecutors told Judge Charles Beach that Brown was driving with his girlfriend and grandson when the shooting occurred Tuesday. They say Brown placed a gun on his lap when the other driver brandished his gun.
While police initially said Brown fired shots at the SUV, prosecutors said he kept the gun in his lap. Brown’s gun was recovered by investigators.
Chicago police did not immediately respond to questions about the discrepancy between prosecutors’ court comments and police information.
"The investigation into whether the suspect fired the weapon remains ongoing," said spokesman Sgt. Rocco Alioto.
Judge Charles Beach said Brown is not alleged to be the instigator or even accused of firing the gun.
“I wish the best for you and your family and your grandson, I can’t imagine a thing worse than what you’re experiencing at this moment,” Beach told Brown, noting he isn’t alleged to be the instigator of the shooting, before setting bond at $5,000. Brown will need to post $500 to be released from custody while awaiting trial.
“Just hearing my grandson’s name, I get emotional,” Brown said during the video-conferenced court hearing.
No other arrests have been reported. Chicago police spokeswoman Karie James said Thursday that police were still searching for the driver of the second vehicle, but she had no other information to release on that person.
The wounded boy remained in critical condition Thursday at Lurie Children’s Hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit, where he was on a ventilator and in a medically induced coma to protect his brain, said Dr. Marcelo Malakooti, the hospital’s associate chief medical officer and medical director of its pediatric ICU.
Malakooti said in a statement released Thursday by the hospital that identifies the boy as Kayden Swann that doctors on Wednesday night “were successful in lifting some of the sedation medication Kayden required to protect his brain.”
“We are pleased to see Kayden make some recovery as he is demonstrating some return in brain activity. While it is still very early to make any meaningful prediction about his total recovery, we are optimistic about the clinical signs we are seeing,” Malakooti said in the statement.
The shooting Tuesday was near Grant Park on the city’s South Side. Police have said one driver would not let the other enter a lane of traffic. Police recovered bullet casings over about a two-block stretch of the roadway.
A woman jumped out of the car with the child and someone drove them to Northwestern Memorial Hospital before the boy was transferred to Lurie Children’s Hospital.