Michigan Girl, 12, Was Returning From Graduation Party When She Was Fatally Shot: Family

She’Nyah O’Flynn was holding her 1-year-old cousin in her arms when she was shot in the neck, relatives said

What to Know

  • A 12-year-old girl was killed and a man injured in a shooting in the West Garfield Park neighborhood Thursday night, according to police
  • Family members identified the young girl as She’Nyah O’Flynn, who had just arrived in Chicago Tuesday to spend the summer with her father
  • She was returning from a relative's graduation party and holding her 1-year-old baby cousin in her arms when she was fatally shot

Twelve-year-old She’Nyah O’Flynn was returning from a relative's graduation party, holding her baby cousin in her arms, when she was fatally shot, her family said - a horrific end to the life of a young girl from Michigan who had just arrived in the city two days earlier to spend the summer with her father.

She’Nyah was shot around 11:20 p.m. in the city's West Garfield Park neighborhood, according family members and police.

She was coming home from a cousin's graduation party, getting out of a car when someone nearby opened fire. At the time she was shot, she was holding her 1-year-old cousin, who was not injured in the incident.

The family initially thought the gunshots were fireworks, only realizing what had happened after She'Nyah was shot in the neck and her cousin's husband was shot in the foot.

Both were taken to Stroger Hospital where his condition stabilized and she was pronounced dead, officials said.

"I never would have thought" She’Nyah would be shot, her aunt Courtney O'Flynn said through tears, voice wavering as she added, "not with her dad."

She’Nyah was from Covert, Michigan, and had just arrived in the city on Tuesday to spend the summer with her father.

Back in Michigan, O'Flynn said she and She'Nyah's mother got the phone call that the girl had been shot and drove straight through the night to the hospital.

"The first thing I thought was, 'Why was she out that late?'" O'Flynn said, "but she was with family."

"She was with family and it's summertime. Who would think someone would shoot this girl?" she asked.

She'Nyah loved hip-hop and dance, played soccer and got good grades, her family said.

"She'Nyah, that was like my daughter. I got her tattooed on my wrist," O'Flynn said, calling the girl "a good person" and "real goofy."

"Every day when I came home from school, that was my baby," her aunt continued. "That was my best friend."

Along with community activist Andrew Holmes, her relatives pleaded for help in catching the gunman.

"This family is traumatized," Holmes said, asking for anyone who may have surveillance footage or cell phone video to come forward.

"They need to be brought to justice, because it’s an innocent little baby," said Derrick Langford, a cousin of the man shot. "She didn’t get a chance to live her life and her life was just taken over some stupidity."

No one is in custody in connection with the shooting, as authorities continue to investigate.

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