CHICAGO — The family of Jaya Beemon, an 18-year-old nursing student who was killed inside a South Side convenience store Tuesday, say their grief was compounded when her mother was arrested by Chicago police.
Beemon was one of five people shot inside Ali's Minimart on 79th and Avalon around 5 p.m. Tuesday. Police said three men approached the convenience store and began firing into the market from outside.
Police believe the gunmen were targeting an unnamed boy when they reportedly fired 20 rounds into the store. The intended target was not injured, but police say two women who were with him were wounded. Three other victims, including Jaya and her boyfriend, were innocent bystanders. She was pronounced dead on the scene.
Jaya’s mother Nyisha Beemon said her grief was compounded when she was arrested and charged after breaking down while viewing her daughter’s body.
"I passed out when I saw my baby and they drug me out the hospital like a dog," Nyisha Beemon said.
Nyisha Beemon was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors, including battery and resisting an officer. Chicago police say she pushed and kicked an officer. She spent the night in jail, and bonded out shortly after midnight.
The ACLU of Illinois said the Chicago police officer, "should be able to de-escalate a tense situation," and called Nyisha Beemon’s arrest "puzzling and disconcerting."
"The consent decree designed to reform the CPD specifically speaks to the need for officers to treat victims of crime with courtesy, dignity, and respect," the ACLU said in a statement.
The University of Chicago issued a statement saying the hospital has staff to help grieving families, and said the decision to arrest Beemon was made by CPD. Right now, police have no comment.
"In accordance with policies and procedures, University of Chicago police were on the scene only to assist the hospital and CPD by helping to control access around the emergency department,” U of C said in a statement.
The four other victims in the shooting, including two teen girls and a 19-year-old boy, were transported in critical condition to various hospitals. Police later said the 19-year-old and one of the teen girls were upgraded to good condition. A 63-year-old man also shot was transported in fair condition.
Police said the three shooters fled into a white Chrysler 300 and police hope POD cameras provide additional images. The investigation is ongoing as the search for the suspects continue.