Boy, 7, in hospital after shooting at east-end Hamilton home

A seven-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after being shot at a residence in Hamilton's east end Thursday night, officials say.

Hamilton Paramedics say they were called to a home on Gordon Street in the Gage Avenue North and Barton Street East area around 7:50 p.m. for reports of a child suffering gunshot wounds.

Paramedics at first said the child was found with life-threatening injuries. Police later said the child was in stable condition.

Hamilton police's deputy chief Frank Bergen told reporters the boy was shot from outside the home while on the main floor. 

Bergen would not confirm whether the shooting was a drive-by, nor would he confirm any details about any vehicles that may have been involved. 

'This is unacceptable'

"This is unacceptable," said Bergen, adding the community needs to pay greater attention to the toll of gun violence on the city and the effect of guns and gangs.

There were 47 shooting incidents in Hamilton last year, of which eight were homicides. So far this year, there have already been three shootings in the city — this being the first involving a victim.

"Our community has to stop and understand what the proliferation of guns are doing... We hear a great deal about the problems in the GTA and we are now talking about a sidewalk within our community that's also affected."

Police have released no suspect description and have as yet made no arrests.

Samantha Craggs/CBC

Bergen added parts of the neighbourhood have been cordoned off, but that officers may also be investigating other scenes. He did not elaborate.

Forensic investigators and K-9 units are on scene for the investigation, Bergen said.

Supt. David Thompson could not comment on the number of gunshot wounds or the nature of the child's injuries, citing the police investigation.

"These incidents are never easy to respond to," Thompson said. "Our thoughts go out to the victim's family and all the responders that responded to the scene."

Danny, a neighbour who wouldn't give his last name, said he applied pressure to the boy's wounds. The little boy was shot in the hand and the abdomen, he said.

Police haven't said where or how many times the boy was shot.

Danny said he heard two gunshots and walked down the street to see where they were coming from, then heard a woman screaming from the house. He went in and found the little boy shot.

"He said, 'It hurts and it's hard to breathe,'" Danny said. He said he suggested the boy sit up a bit and that seemed to make him a bit more comfortable.

"Then he kept asking me: 'Am I going to die?'"

The little boy plays in the neighbourhood, Danny said, and plays with his dogs. "He's a good kid. He's a good kid."

Police haven't released a suspect description and as yet have made no arrests. 

The Gordon Street home was blocked off with police tape Friday morning, and police were on scene continuing to canvass the area for evidence, review video surveillance and speak to witnesses. 

Andrew Collins/CBC

Police say officers are continuing to speak with witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 905-546 -4925 Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS.