A 12-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a stray bullet later died on her birthday, according to reports.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Kentavia Blackful died at around 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 24 at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office has not yet released details about the girl’s death.
Harvey Police Chief Eddie Winters said that she was shot in the head at around 9 p.m. near 158th Street and Pulaski Road. He said there is no one in custody at this time.
Her family told CBS Chicago that she had just gotten her hair done and bought new clothes on the day before her birthday.
“She always has a half-smile on her face, but even though it’s a half a smile, it’s always very inviting,” teacher Norma Young said. “So it was rough.”
Young and other teachers joined a vigil for her on Tuesday night.
“Straight A student. She was the president of student council; on the basketball team,” said Carlene Matthews, another teacher, according to the CBS affiliate report.
As she was preparing in her home, someone began shooting outside, her family said.
The grandfather of the girl said he was on the front porch of the home when two males came up to him and began shooting.
The family crouched down, but the girl was shot in the head, CBS reported.
Harvey Mayor Christopher Clark, who lives in the same neighborhood, said he was on the case.
“Personally, it destroys my heart. Every child in the city of Harvey is my child – I’ve always believed that, I always think that, and that’s just the way that it is. So from my heart’s standpoint, it really disturbs me greatly,” Clark said. “From a mayoral standpoint, I know that I’m now in a position to do everything that I possibly can, working with the community, to try to make sure that things like this don’t happen again in the future.”
More police will be patrolling the streets as a result, he said.
“I don’t know how something like this happens, but I know one thing is that there’s things that we can do about it. When something like this happens, honestly, it rocks everyone to their core – especially everyone on this block,” he said. “This is a tight block, OK? People know each other. I know people on this block – lots of people on this block. And so it shakes you to your core. But what we have to find out is, OK what went wrong – you know – how do we fix it; how do we make it better? Because we don’t want to see this happening to anyone ever again.”
Community Activist Andrew Holmes said the public should help in catching the suspects.
“This child is in critical condition at Christ Hospital. But the public, let’s stand up, let’s speak out. Let’s tell who these individuals was. Look at your doorbell cameras and see if you have images of these perpetrators,” he told WGN-TV.