CHICAGO — The shooting that killed an 8-year-old girl Saturday was due to conflict within one gang, which claims territory in the western parts of Little Village, according to a Chicago police source.
Police said Melissa Ortega was walking to Walgreens with an adult on the 4000 block of West 26th Street just before 2:45 p.m. Saturday, when a bullet struck her in the head. She was transported to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, where she later died.
Police said someone fired shots at a 26-year-old gang member, who police believe was the intended target.
During a press conference Monday, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said they have stepped up patrols in the Little Village neighborhood in attempts to deter crime and any retaliatory gang violence.
“We’re not going to ignore the profit motivation of the gang members who make this blood money,” Brown said.
No one is in custody in the shooting. Police said they are doing everything they can to solve this case and have very good leads.
Just a few months ago, Melissa had moved to Chicago from Mexico with her mother, settling in the Little Village neighborhood while attending Emiliano Zapata Academy.
Many in the community gathered Sunday for prayer and to pay their respects.
Anyone with information is urged to contact police or leave an anonymous tip at cpdtip.com. You can also leave a tip at 833-408-0069.
A GoFundMe for the 8-year-old’s funeral expenses has raised more than $31,000.