'Somebody dropped the ball' says father of teen shot, covered with sheet in University Village

CHICAGO -- The father of a murdered teen who was seen moving after paramedics put a white sheet over his body at the scene of a deadly shooting on Chicago's West Side earlier this week spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday.

He was one of two people fatally shot early Monday morning in the 1300-block of South Loomis Street in the city's University Village neighborhood.

RELATED: Teen shot in Chicago covered with sheet, initially presumed dead

Paramedics initially covered him with a white sheet, then bystanders noticed the teen was still breathing.

As one can imagine, Erin Carey's family is devastated and questioning whether their son may have lived had he been treated earlier.

Now they have also retained an attorney who has sent out notices to both the Chicago Fire and Police Departments to preserve all documents and evidence from their respective investigations.

"Someone truly dropped the ball on this. I need everyone to do their job, because I'm going to do my job as a father," said Eric Carey, Erin's father.

It's been two days since 17-year-old Erin Carey was shot in the head following a party in University Village early Monday morning. There are still more questions than answers regarding the EMS response. Carey's still breathing figure captured by an Eyewitness News photographer laying on the ground, with a sheet over him, as if he were dead. Bystanders were yelling for the paramedics' attention. It is unclear how long the teen laid under the sheet before the mistake was discovered.

The 17-year-old was transported to Stroger Hospital in very critical condition. He died early Tuesday morning.

"My son lived 24 hours after he got to the hospital, but the doctors said there's a chance," said Cary.

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Eric Carey, father of 17-year-old Erin Carey, speaks at a press conference Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the Chicago Fire Department, admits that mistakes were made, saying that when triaged it was determined that Carey could not be saved, but that he should have been taken to the hospital for treatment. Instead, someone mistakenly placed a sheet over him, leading to Carey not being transported until 40 minutes after the first ambulance arrived on the scene.

"Their conduct was not just negligent. Was not just reckless...it was definitely disgraceful," said Nenye Uche, the family's attorney.

The investigation into the shooting itself continues, but police say they have evidence that leads them to believe Carey may have been one of the shooters in the initial exchange of gunfire, including a weapon found laying next to him. His family rejects that claim.

"Here's my question back to that. Did my son just shoot his own self in the head?" Eric Carey asked.

Carey said his son didn't have a criminal record and that he was an athlete and mentored kids. He was also a recent graduate of Evanston Township High School.

While Carey's family has not filed suit against the city just yet, their attorney hinted that legal action will come. For its part the fire department, again apologizing for its mistake, said the investigation into who placed the sheet over him continues, but that, as frustrating as this may be, it could be a few more days before they have all the answers.

EMS procedure dictates Carey should have been transported to the hospital. CFD said they are continuing to review all the communications with dispatch.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke briefly Wednesday morning after his four-mile run with police recruits, but declined to take any questions from the media about the case.
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