‘My friend is a fighter’: Vigil held after 14-year-old girl critically wounded in Back of the Yards

Chicago Crime

CHICAGO — A vigil was held Thursday to pray for a 14-year-old who was shot in the head Wednesday while walking in Back of the Yards.

Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th Ward) said the girl had left a corner store near 48th and Wood streets with her boyfriend around 6 p.m. Wednesday. The two were seen on surveillance video walking along the sidewalk.

Police said three unknown suspects approached them and asked about their gang affiliation. The girl said she wasn’t in a gang, but that her mother was. The alderman said that was the “cue” for one of the individuals to open fire and chase them down the street.

The girl was shot in the head. She was hospitalized at Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition.

Lopez said her story highlights an ongoing problem in his ward and across the city.

“That generational gang lifestyle has an impact on all of our children whether they’re gang members or not,” he said. “It’s horrific and it’s probably the most asinine way of getting shot.”

Lopez said it’s his hope that this serves as a wake up call, not just for the city but for the parents who are still involved in gang life. He said children’s lives depend on it.

On Thursday night, friends and neighbors held a vigil to pray for the girl.

“My friend is a fighter very much,” said friend Lithzuly Pizano.

Community activist Andrew Holmes is asking anyone with information to contact police.

“Over and over again we just spinning wheels, this gun violence has not stopped and when you look at it it’s always our children and for what? they don’t have a reason or clue why they discharged this weapon,” Holmes said. “I’m asking, please turn these individuals in.”

With the prayers, came an urgent plea for more resources for young people.

“I think it’s important to note this is the result of lack of investment, neighborhoods like Back of the Yards,” Pizano said.

Police say one person pulled the trigger but they’re looking for all three people involved.

Another 14-year-old, a boy, was shot Thursday morning on the West Side. He was shot in the foot and transported in good condition.

No suspects are in custody at this time. Anyone with information can leave an anonymous tip at cpdtip.com.

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