Nightly News   |  August 11, 2013

Shooting of 5-year-old a symbol of violent Chicago summer

Five-year-old Jaden Donald may not have superpowers, but he's done something remarkable by escaping becoming a grim statistic in Chicago's violent summer.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to a little boy who has become a symbol of the gun violence plaiging the city of chicago . the number of murders has fallen in year, but there's been a string of shootings in which young children are killed or continue wounded caught in the line of fire. this is how chicago is trying to fight back.

>> reporter: this 5-year-old may not have super powers , but es done somebody remarkable. narrowly escaping and becoming a --

>> who is the best, spiderman or bat man?

>> spiderman .

>> returning from a fourth july party, they stopped at a park by their home.

>> i didn't realize the difference between fireworks and gunshots. and he got hit running to me.

>> reporter: he was hit in the stomach between rival gangs. at the hospital the doctors said he was dying and rushed him to surgery.

>> it's the worst feeling that you can ever have to watch your child go through something and go through so much pain and there's nothing you can do about it.

>> reporter: in chicago it's an all too common feeling. jay den is one of four of children shot in chicago alone.

>> the gang bangors are not very good shots and they hit.

>> reporter: police took us around the hard hit south side . he says 100 fewer juveniles have been shot compared to last year.

>> it's a day by day , minute by minute fight that we've been having against gun violence . we're not going to be able to fix it over night.

>> reporter: he points to progress. so far murders are down to 26% from last year to the lowest number since 1965 . shooting down 24%.

>> it's the same officers and the same beat, every single day. they naunl inaudible.

>> reporter: some experts say chicago 's homicides tend to follow a familiar formula.

>> a couple of young guys plus some sort of disagreement plus a gun equals dead body .

>> reporter: police seize more guns in chicago than in new york and los angeles combined. they say the solution isn't just fewer firearms, but more opportunities. 22-year-old zachary robinson is in a program called one summer plus which provides jobs and mentoring to young people from at risk neighbors.

>> it helps me off the street and other people that might be doing something violent and doing something positive.

>> reporter: which could help kids like jay den donald spend list time in hospitals.

>> there is spiderman .

>> reporter: and more time being spiderman . john yang , nbc news chicago .