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Girl, 12, shot in head by stray bullet while inside Harvey home on day before birthday

HARVEY, Ill. — A young girl was planning her birthday party when she was shot in the head by a stray bullet while inside her home in Harvey.

The shooting happened around 9 p.m. Monday near 158th and Paulina streets. Kentavia Blackful's family was inside their home in the living room watching the Chicago Bears game when shots came from outside, piercing the front window. Kentavia was sitting at her computer when she was shot in the head.

Her family said she was choosing T-shirt designs for her birthday party. She turned 12 on Tuesday — just hours after she was shot.

Kentavia was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in grave condition.

“She’s trying to fight as much as she can at this point, but we’re still in prayer that she pulls through,” Kentavia's grandmother, Bretta Blackful, said.

A bullet hole can be seen in their home's front window. At least four other shots hit the siding.

Kentavia's grandfather, Dennis Hunt, said he’s confident that two men he saw walking by Monday night are responsible for the shooting.

“I was sitting on the porch drinking a beer, and I saw two dudes come from that way with some hoodies on,” Hunt said. “There were looking at me kind of crazy. Five or six times.”

Community Activist Andrew Holmes is calling for the public's help to catch the gunman.

“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."

The sixth grader was an honor student at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School.

No one was has been taken into custody.

A reward is being offered for information about the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call Harvey police or the anonymous tip line, U TELL US, at 1-800-883-5587.

A vigil was held Tuesday evening at the family home.

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