7-year-old Girl Fatally Shot on West Side

The girl was playing with friends and selling candy when shots rang out

A 7-year-old girl was fatally struck in the back Wednesday night outside her family's home in Chicago's North Austin neighborhood.

The girl, identified as Heaven Sutton, was selling candy with her mother and playing with friends around 10:30 p.m. in the 1700 block of North Luna when shots rang out. Heaven tried running inside, her mother said, but she was hit by gunfire.

"There were two guys," said Malik Ellis, Heaven's brother. "I saw one come out of the gangway. He walked into the middle of the street and started shooting."

Heaven was rushed to an area hospital where she later died. A 19-year-old man was shot in the ankle and is listed in good condition at Loyola University Medical Center.

The girl's mother, Ashake Banks, said the soon-to-be second-grader told her on several occasions she wanted her family to move out of the violent neighborhood. Banks said Heaven was a sweet, smart girl.

"Her name speaks for itself," Banks said. "Everybody knew her. She's very outgoing."

Banks told reporters she believes the shooting is gang-related and said Heaven was an unintended target.

Chicago police are searching for two men seen fleeing the shooting.

No arrests have been made, but a group of ministers have put up a $3,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of Sutton's killer.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was visibly upset when asked about the slaying, stating that Sutton's death wasn't just about a crime but a lack of values.


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