National News

Chicago Teenager Was Still Alive When Paramedics Covered Him With a Sheet

Posted June 21, 2018 2:42 p.m. EDT

The father of a Chicago teenager who was shot early this week held a news conference Wednesday, saying he wanted to know why emergency services workers had covered his son with a sheet even though he was still alive.

That’s one of several questions that Eric Carey, the father of the teenager, Erin Carey, 17, has about his son’s death, he told reporters.

“You don’t throw a sheet over his head and walk to the next person,” Carey said. “Did you check and see if he even had a pulse?” he asked, at times tearful and seated next to a lawyer. “I need to know why did my son got shot,” he said.

The Chicago Fire Department, which oversees emergency services, has said it is investigating not only why Erin was covered with a sheet while he was still breathing, but also why it took 40 minutes to transport him to the hospital.

Erin, who had recently graduated from Evanston Township High School, was shot in the head on Chicago’s West Side at about 5 a.m. Monday. He was one of four people wounded, two fatally, during a conflict between two groups of people, police said. Once paramedics were alerted that the teenager was still moving, police said, he was transported to Stroger Hospital, where he died Tuesday.

In an interview Wednesday, Larry Langford, director of media affairs at the Fire Department, said paramedics determined, because of the severity of the gunshot wounds to Erin’s head, that others who had been wounded would be transported first. Still, he questioned why it took 40 minutes. He said paramedics performed CPR on Erin. He could not explain why the sheet was placed over the teenager.

“We don’t know the mindset,” Langford said. “We don’t know why the sheet was put there.” (A white sheet is usually used if a person is deceased.)

Erin was one of two people killed after families gathered Sunday night for Father’s Day festivities near Addams-Medill Park in the University Village neighborhood, according to police.

“There was a conflict between two groups that resulted in gunfire,” said Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Police Department said in an interview Wednesday. One of the guns used was a MAC-10 assault weapon, he said. At a news conference Monday, police detailed what happened. Over the weekend there were 36 shootings with eight fatalities, six of them from gun violence, police said.

Langford said investigators would be reviewing police and fire radio traffic, calls to 911 and ambulance activity. The shootings happened within a two to three block radius. The other person who was fatally shot was Shalonza McToy, 22.

Marcus Campbell, the principal at Evanston Township High School, got a call Monday from a pastor, Charlie Dates, who was with the Carey family at the hospital. Campbell went to the hospital too and spent an hour and a half with the family.

School officials posted the news of his death on the high school’s website, saying they were “deeply saddened” and “extend our heartfelt sympathy to Erin’s family and friends, our students and staff.”

Dates of Progressive Baptist Church said: “Erin grew up at our church. He was in the youth ministry. He interned for three summers at our senior living facility. He talked about going to college.”

He added: “These things happen all too frequently. There are some teenagers I see where I see this coming. He was an unlikely kid to be engaged in something like this.”