Portage Park

Portage Park shooting that left 9-year-old dead detailed by prosecutors in new docs

Told from the perspective of witnesses and the child's father, prosecutors revealed Serabi Medina had just retrieved ice cream from an ice cream truck for herself and her father before gunshots rang out Saturday night

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Prosecutors in court Tuesday detailed how the horrific and allegedly targeted shooting of a 9-year-old girl unfolded in Chicago's Portage Park neighborhood over the weekend.

Told from the perspective of witnesses and the child's father, prosecutors revealed Serabi Medina had just retrieved ice cream from an ice cream truck for herself and her dad before gunshots rang out Saturday night.

Her father, who was speaking with friends in a vehicle in the 3500 block of North Long Avenue, heard a gunshot and told his daughter to "take her scooter and go back to the apartment," a proffer read in court stated.

As the young girl returned to her home, her father and his friends saw a man exit a nearby apartment building holding a firearm, prosecutors said.

"One of the passengers in the car observed this and alerted the other witnesses," the proffer stated.

The man appeared to be walking in the direction of the young girl, who was approaching the door to her building.

Prosecutors said the child's father shouted at the man asking what he was doing, but the man ignored the dad and continued toward Serabi.

Serabi's father ran toward his daughter as he watched the man "raise the firearm, point it at [Serabi]" and shoot her in the head, the proffer stated.

Serabi's father then tackled the man and as both fell to the ground the gun went off, striking the alleged gunman in the eye, prosecutors said.

"[The father] ran all the way over there, football tackled this guy and that weapon discharged," community activist and crisis responder Andrew Holmes said in the moments after the shooting.

"He saved other people," Angee Gonzalez Rodriguez, a cousin of Serabi's father, said. "Who knows what that else that man was going to do that night... Serabi’s father didn’t recognize him or know who it was."

The alleged gunman, Michael Goodman, 43, now faces a charge of first-degree murder. Though he appeared in court Tuesday, Goodman's condition following the shooting was not immediately clear.

Witnesses said Goodman reportedly shot the young girl in the head because he was upset over noise.

"It just didn’t make sense. None of it made sense,” a neighbor, Megan Kelley, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Everybody in the community would just tell him they are just kids having fun playing. Just let them be.”

Serabi and her father had been living in Portage Park for about two years. They moved to the neighborhood shortly after her mother was murdered in 2018.

Serabi was a typical 9-year-old; she loved riding her scooter, making bracelets and finding new friends, according to family.

"How dare you, you cannot just take anyone's life... a child," Gonzalez Rodriguez said. "What did that child do to you? I hope he gets what he deserves. I hope he gets the book thrown at him."

A memorial has grown outside the family's home, with mourners stopping by to pay their condolences and drop off items, including candles and stuffed animals. The colors purple and pink were common sights Monday night at a vigil hosted in the young girl's honor.

"I use to look at her and think man- she lost her mom – but she is still full of life – laughing and having fun," said relative Hector Villafuerte.

Serabi attended Peter A. Reinberg Elementary School, where she was set to enter the fourth grade. Her family is now planning a backpack giveaway in her honor.

Goodman, who worked as a programmer for roughly 20 years, lived in the building across the street from Serabi. Attorneys said he had a valid FOID card and no criminal history.

He was ordered held without bond.

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