BOLINGBROOK, Ill. — Residents of Bolingbrook came together to grieve Wednesday night, learning how to cope and support one the family who lost three loved ones in a home invasion Sunday.
The site of the gathering was the DuPage Township Levy Center, which hosted a candlelight vigil in honor of the three victims — 40-year-old Cartez Daniels, 17-year-old Samiyah Shelton-Tillman and 9-year-old Sanai Daniels — who were fatally shot inside their Bolingbrook home on Lee Lane.
“I just saw them a week ago,” said Erica Daniels, Cartez’s sister, and aunt to Samiyah and Sanai. “We went to Dave and Busters. I’m glad I got to see them then.”
Cartez Daniels’s fiancee and the girls’ mom, Tania Stewart, was also shot during the home invasion before being taken to a local hospital where she is still recovering in stable condition.
Family members said Stewart survived by playing dead, while two other children in the house — a 3 and 14-year-old boy — witnessed the crime.
“What kind of world are we in where it’s that kind of hate?” said Tomika Reed, a sister and aunt of the victims.
Many in the crowd at the candlelight vigil Wednesday didn’t know the family personally, but still vowed to support those left behind.
“I just want you all to know that we are here for you,” said Teresa Martin, an organizer of the event. “You’re not alone and you won’t be alone.”
“Bolingbrook is a big family, it’s not [just] a community,” said Mayor Mary Alexander-Basta. “We all care for each other. We love each other. We lift each other up, especially in times like this.”
Family members at the event said a joint funeral service for Cartez, Samiyah and Sanai will likely happen sometime next Friday or Saturday.