A girl was hoping to celebrate her birthday on Tuesday, but instead she is fighting for her life after she was struck by a stray bullet in suburban Harvey on Monday night.
According to police, Kentavia Blackful was sitting inside of her home near the intersection of 158th and Paulina, at her computer planning her 12th birthday party at approximately 9 p.m. Monday when she was hit in the head by a stray bullet. The girl was rushed to Christ Medical Center, where she is listed in critical condition.
“I’m angry inside, because what happened never should have happened,” Dennis Hunt, the girl’s grandfather said.
Hunt said that he noticed two men outside the home, both of whom were wearing black hoodies.
“They looked at me about nine times, so I looked back at them,” he said. “Next thing I know, I didn’t see anybody, and then I heard gunshots.”
In a statement released Tuesday, the Harvey police department said that Blackful is still in critical condition at an area hospital, and that they are investigating the case.
“Our hearts are heavy at the news of this latest act of violence against innocent residents of the City of Harvey,” Mayor Christopher Clark said in a statement. “As a community, we rally around our young resident and her family.”
Harvey Public Schools District 152 sent home a letter to parents offering support from a crisis team. On Tuesday night, residents marked Kentavia’s 12th birthday with a balloon release and a vigil; where community activists handed out flyers regarding a $3,500 reward to find the gunmen responsible for the incident.
"We are going to find you, we are going to get you and we are going to prosecute you," said Harvey Mayor Christopher Clark.
No suspects were in custody as of Tuesday evening, and Harvey police are asking anyone with information on the shooting to come forward with information.