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A 7-year-old girl was shot in the neck while trick-or-treating with her family on Chicago's West Side on Thursday evening, leaving her in critical condition, the police said.

The shooting, which happened around 5.30 p.m. Chicago time in the Little Village neighborhood, occurred when at least one person in a group of at least three men opened fire on a 31-year-old man, according to the Chicago Police Department.

"Just a 7-year-old child out here, with her family, trick-or-treating, just like anybody else," Sgt. Rocco Alioto of the Police Department said at a news conference at the scene. "It shouldn't happen anywhere. It shouldn't happen in this city."

Alioto said that detectives were canvassing the area for witnesses and reviewing surveillance footage. The authorities believe the gunman fled on foot. No arrests had been made as of Thursday night.

Larry Langford, a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department, said he could not recall ever treating a child for gunshot wounds on Halloween during his 20 years on the job.

"It gets to the first responders because they have kids, too," he said. "It's a tragic situation, but it's not a common situation in Chicago."

Chicago has long struggled with gun violence. In one weekend in August, for example, seven people were killed and 52 wounded by gunfire, including a 5-year-old boy who was shot in the leg while sitting in a car.

Overall shootings, however, are down this year compared with last year.

The Chicago Tribune, which tracks the number of shooting victims in the city, said 2,313 people had been shot as of Sunday, 223 fewer than in 2018. That is also the lowest total since 2015.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has pledged to find solutions to the problems with gun violence.

Earlier Thursday, Guglielmi said on Twitter that the Chicago Police Department planned on Friday to release statistics that showed a continued decrease in gun crime.