The shooting that killed an 11-year-old Chicago girl who was with friends at a sleepover was in retaliation for an argument between a pair of 14-year-olds earlier that day, police Supt. Garry McCarthy said late Thursday morning.
"You introduce a gun into a fist-fight and this is what happens," McCarthy said in announcing charges against 18-year-old Tevin Lee. Lee, of the 600 block of South Lawndale Avenue, was charged with murder, felony murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm.
Shamiya Adams was in the bedroom with four friends when shots were fired toward the home on the 3900 block of West Gladys Avenue in Chicago's Garfield Park neighborhood on July 18. The girl's family members said the group was circled around a pretend "campfire" and was about to make S'mores when Adams was hit in the head.
Told of a break in the case, Adams' grandmother, Nanette Bailey, said she was "just so relieved."
The police superintendent said Lee wasn't involved in the argument earlier that Friday but instead was seeking revenge after an "associate" of his who was involved in the fight.
"After observing the rival gang members he thought responsible, he opened fire without care or regard for the safety of anyone else," McCarthy said. "Unfortunately, his intended targets were standing beside the home in which Shamiya and her friends were innocently playing."
"It's just one one more example of how these criminal organizations -- these gangs -- are negatively impacting the communities our residents live in, and that we are sworn to serve and protect," he said.
Police have not recovered the gun that killed Adams.
"These guys are out here, and they are shooting, and they can't guide the bullet, and they are always hitting someone innocent," the victim's aunt, Marian Stevenson, said.
Fundraising Event Held in Ukrainian Village
Shamiya's family, friends and supporters including Mayor Rahm Emanuel gathered at a Ukrainian Village restaurant Thursday to raise money for her funeral. "There's some closure, but to lose a baby, that's going to go on in our heads forever. The way it happened was tragic," the victim's grandfather, Roger Goodloe, said. The girl's death sparked outrage in the community, with area churches and community groups coming together to amass an $8,000 reward fund for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Adams' killer.
"This crime was so vicious and of great magnitude that it needs to be encouraged that whoever knows, because somebody somewhere knows something," the Rev. George Daniels said on Tuesday.
Emanuel spent time with the girl's family on Tuesday night.