East Chicago shooting kills 1, injures toddler

2013-02-02T22:00:00Z 2013-02-03T21:03:04Z East Chicago shooting kills 1, injures toddlerBowdeya Tweh bowdeya.tweh@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
February 02, 2013 10:00 pm  • 

EAST CHICAGO | One person was killed and a 2-year-old was injured Saturday when a vehicle was shot at multiples times.

The shooting happened about 5 p.m. in the 3900 block of Evergreen Street in the Indiana Harbor section of the city.

The Lake County coroner's office identified the deceased as 25-year-old Willie Cook. Police didn't release the toddler's name. The coroner's office said Cook was the victim of a homicide and was pronounced dead of gunshot wounds at 6:50 p.m.

East Chicago Police Chief Mark Becker said a vehicle was "riddled with several gunshots" and the 2-year-old was in the backseat of the car at the time of the shooting. The toddler was struck in the leg by the gunfire but survived, he said.

Police were continuing to investigate the shooting Saturday night, although they don't believe Cook was the intended target, Becker said. From information uncovered early in the investigation, Becker said Saturday's shooting may have been in retaliation for a Tuesday homicide in the 3900 block of Fern Street. Police believe the Tuesday shooting may have been drug-related.

"When people take justice into their own hands, bad things happen," Becker said.

Earnestine Tarver, 50, of East Chicago, was fatally shot Tuesday in a backyard in the 3900 block of Fern Street.

The city recorded three homicides in 2012, which Becker said was the lowest tally reported to federal authorities in almost 40 years.

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