A man has been shot while handing out pamphlets for political candidate Joseph Williams, who is running for alderman in the 15th Ward in Chicago.
The volunteer, Maxwell Little, 32, was shot in the leg while streaming video via Facebook Live from the Chicago neighborhood of West Englewood, just before 2 p.m. on Dec. 10. With a population of 31,000 Engelwood has been the highly publicized scene of various murders and shootings.
In 2017, 47 people were murdered in Englewood making the rate of homicide 30 times higher than the national murder rate. Across the city 784 were killed last year, as tallied by the Chicago Tribune. The crime waves of the 1970s and 1990s were the only times the city’s homicide rate was higher.
No arrest has been made so far in connection with the Dec. 10 shooting. Little is ruling-out the possibility of the shooting being a random attack.
“This was no random shooting, someone wanted me dead. The bullet went through. God is great, stay prayed up, I prayed before I went canvassing and God looked out [for me],” Little said in a Facebook post after counting six gunshots. “God is still great. Whoever tried to kill me failed.”
Little, who refers to himself on Facebook as Maxwell Omowale Justice, said his political views remain unchanged despite facing six gunshots fired by a masked assailant.
Little drove himself to a nearby hospital, the Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park. He has since been discharged and is recovering.
Williams has been praying for Little’s speedy recovery. He had previously spoken out about Chicago’s gun violence epidemic, according to Fox News. He said he witnessed the shooting while canvassing the neighborhood with his children, WLS-TV reported.
“We did witness a man in a mask come out of the gangway and start shooting while everyone was outside,” he told WLS. “It should have never happened. He is an innocent bystander who is coming out to do something good.”
Williams’ campaign manager, Erin Ellenbolt, said Little had only been out to gather affidavits from residents, because the nomination petition for Williams’ campaign had been challenged in court.
“Maxwell had just shown up and he was handing out flyers as well and trying to get signatures,” Ellenbolt told The Chicago Tribune.
Ellenbolt said earlier this year, a man was shot and killed in Detroit while canvassing ahead of the midterm elections.
“It’s what we’re fighting for, it’s the violence in Englewood, and the violence in the 15th Ward that we’re trying to combat,” she told the Tribune. “It’s made it personal for Joseph, I know that. He and Maxwell are incredibly close friends. It’s finding that balance between personal safety and it’s also what makes this campaign so important.”
A friend of Little’s, Chantal Grant, told WLS that she didn’t think the shooting had specifically targeted Williams’ campaign, or Little himself.
“Whoever did this was wrong and we have to get to the bottom of it, and solve it, and just not talk about it,” she said.
On Oct. 8, President Donald Trump told law enforcement officers that he was sending reinforcements to Chicago to “straighten out” the crime-infested city.
“I have directed the attorney general’s office to immediately go to the great city of Chicago to help straighten out the terrible shooting wave,” Trump told approximately 4,000 law enforcement officers and their families at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Orlando, Florida.
Trump said he wants Chicago to “strongly consider” amping up the stop-and-frisk practice he attributes to cleaning-up a crime-riddled New York City back in the 1990s.
Pter Svab and Charlotte Cuthbertson of The Epoch Times contributed to this article