A nine-year-old boy was fatally shot in a Chicago neighbourhood on Monday (2 November), apparently caught in the crossfire of a street fight, police said. The boy, whose name has not been officially released, was pronounced dead at the scene.

"This afternoon, six district police officers responded to a call of a person shot. Upon arrival, officers discovered a nine-year-old victim whose name is being withheld, pending notifications to family. The young boy was found in the ally with multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body," said Chicago police's chief of detectives, Dean Andrews.

"At this point, it is unclear if this was a targeted incident, or a tragic case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time," he added.

Neighbours told local media the boy died a few doors away from his grandmother's home. Chicago, with 2.7 million people, is the most violent large city in the United States, authorities said, with poverty, segregation, dozens of small street gangs and a pervasive gun culture all contributing to the problem.

In July, seven-year-old Amari Brown was killed by gunfire in an apparent gang-related attack as the boy was watching a backyard fireworks show.