A young girl who was hit in the head by a stray bullet while planning her birthday party inside her home in Harvey died on her 12th birthday, authorities said Wednesday.
Kentavia Blackful died on her birthday Tuesday night, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office, one day after she was shot in the head.
According to police, Kentavia was sitting at her computer inside her home near the intersection of 158th and Paulina, planning her birthday party at around 9 p.m. when she was shot in the head by a bullet from outside the house.
She was taken in critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where she died Tuesday, officials said.
“I’m angry inside, because what happened never should have happened,” Kentavia's grandfather Dennis Hunt 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.”
“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 after the shooting. “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 advertising a $3,500 reward to find the gunmen responsible.
"We are going to find you, we are going to get you and we are going to prosecute you," Clark said.
No suspects were in custody as of Wednesday morning, and Harvey police are asking anyone with information on the shooting to contact authorities.