A suspect was charged with first degree murder Monday evening in the fatal shooting of a 7-year-old who was the innocent victim of gang crossfire on the Fourth of July, Chicago police said.
Natalie Wallace died from injuries she sustained in a shooting at around 7:02 p.m. Saturday in the 100 block of North Latrobe Avenue near West Washington Boulevard in the Austin neighborhood.
According to police, the young girl was on a sidewalk when a light-colored vehicle pulled up and an unknown number of offenders exited the vehicle. The offenders then produced guns and fired shots in the direction of the victim, striking her in the forehead. The young girl was in the neighborhood to visit her grandmother for the Fourth of July weekend.
At a news conference Monday evening, police announced the alleged driver in the young girl's death had been charged with first degree murder, however investigators were still looking for three additional suspects.
According to Chicago Police Department Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan detectives were able to track the vehicle involved in the shooting and determine its plate number by examining surveillance videos. Officers stopped the vehicle and arrested the driver, Reginald Merrill, 33, who's alleged to have been behind the wheel at the time of Wallace's shooting death, officials added.
The shooting was believed to be in retaliation for a murder that occurred weeks earlier as part of ongoing gang-on-gang violence, Deenihan added.