Chicago Police continue to search for the person who shot and killed a pregnant teenager Tuesday night.
Charinez Jefferson, 17, of the 600 block of South Albany Avenue, was shot multiple times in the chest and head just after 10 p.m. Tuesday in the city's Marquette Park neighborhood, police said.
Her baby, delivered prematurely, remained in critical but stable condition Thursday morning. Doctors have expressed concerns about the newborn's mental and physical development.
“He didn’t get no oxygen to his brain, so doctors are saying it’s a slim chance," Jefferson's mother, Debbie, said Wednesday of the baby. "He’s going to be OK, because if God wanted him, he would have taken him when he took my daughter.”
Detectives believe Jefferson was walking down the street with a male companion and several other people in the 3000 block of West 64th Street when someone opened fire. Debbie Jefferson said the teen was on her way home after hanging out with several friends.
"She begged the shooter not to shoot her because she was pregnant, and now a 7-month-old baby is clinging onto his life," said Pastor Tavis Grant with the Rainbow Push Coalition during a Wednesday evening vigil.
Jajuan Moore, Jefferson's best friend since elementary school, said he heard multiple shots, and when he looked out his bedroom window, he saw her on the ground and a man running away.
“How could you sit there and gun a pregnant woman down, literally!” Moore said.
First responders found Jefferson in critical condition and in cardiac arrest. She was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn on advanced life support and pronounced dead at the hospital just after 11 p.m.
Jefferson had another 1-year-old child and was going to be a junior at Banner Therapeutic Day School.
Debbie Jefferson said she has no idea what happened or why someone would shoot the expectant mother, but she doesn't believe her daughter was the intended target.
“It’s just sad for two children that won’t grow up to know their mom," she said.