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Illinois boy, 4, dies of gunshots believed intended for someone else: police

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A 4-year-old boy in Illinois was killed Monday by gunfire that police said were intended for someone else.

Jeremiah Ward, of Peoria, died after 22 shots were fired into an apartment complex parking lot. He was hit three times in the back and arm and died shortly after arrival at the emergency department, the officials said.

The boy was in a car with his mother and a man. Another passenger was a 23-year-old man who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and who the researchers suspect that the intended target group, Springfield station FOX WRSP-TV reported.

The shooting seems to be “ambush-style,” Peoria police chief Loren Marion said Tuesday.

“We know there is a video circulating on social media of Jeremiah is loaded into the ambulance and we stress for everyone who has information or who saw this to please step forward,” the chief said. “We can solve this without the community to help.”

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About 300 people gathered Tuesday in the parking lot to remember Jeremiah. His mother clutched a teddy bear and was crying uncontrollably.

She described the 4-year-old as a “loving boy who would always run around, grab her face and kiss her cheek.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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