By STEFANO ESPOSITO and ANDY GRIMM
Just hours after 11-year-old Takiya Holmes died Tuesday after being shot while sitting in a van Saturday evening in Parkway Gardens, a 19-year-old man was charged with her murder.
Antwan C. Jones is facing first-degree murder charges in Takiya’s shooting, Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said
“I hope it’s the correct person and I’m hoping justice is served,” Patsy Holmes, Takiya’s grandmother, said Wednesday morning. “If it’s the right person, I want him to be punished to the fullest.”
Takiya died Tuesday morning at Comer Children’s Hospital. She was sitting next to her 3-year-old brother in the back seat of a van — her mother and aunt were in the front seats — when gunfire erupted about 7:40 p.m. Saturday in the 6500 block of South King Drive.
Takiya was “beautiful, loving and smart” and “everybody loved her,” Patsy Holmes said.
A fifth-grader with good grades, she and a deep-dimpled smile that left an impression, Holmes said. She had just joined a basketball team, and participated in a program that taught young girls how to act like young ladies.
Nakeeia Williams was parked outside a dry cleaning store, where she worked, and planned to exchange cars with a co-worker when someone fired shots, Patsy Holmes said Sunday.
Takiya was pronounced dead by doctors early Tuesday morning, after being kept on life support for about four hours so that her organs could be used for transplants, Patsy Holmes said, adding that she hoped a relative with a kidney problem would be a donor match.
The group Assata’s Daughters has set up a website to make donations to help cover medical expenses.
The site said, “Takiya is a beloved member of our community and a fierce young freedom fighter. … We appreciate your continued support of the family as they make end of life arrangements and celebrate their beloved Takiya Holmes.”
A YouTube video showing a montage of photos of Takiya’s was also set up by Assata’s Daughters.
Wednesday morning, Patsy Holmes was on her way to Comer Children’s Hospital where the family was preparing to donate Takiya’s organs. She said she learned about the arrest in the pre-dawn hours.
Takiya’s cousin, anti-violence activist Andrew Holmes, had urged the community to come forward with information.
“The damage has been done,” he said. “We just want them to step up, turn someone in. The key to this is the community. We got to stop pointing fingers … because the killers came out of that community.”
“One victim of one shooting is one too many, but when innocent children are caught in the crossfire of gun violence and young people have their childhood stolen by stray bullets, our consciences are shaken and our hearts are broken,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in an emailed statement Tuesday.
Jones told police he opened fire because he saw people he didn’t think belonged in the neighborhood, police said Wednesday. Takiya was struck by a stray bullet.
At a press conference to discuss the murder charges filed Wednesday, police said Jones surrendered after being identified by witnesses.
CPD Cmdr. Brendan Deenihan said detectives recovered video of the shooting, which occurred in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood, where Jones lived. The intended targets were nowhere near the van in which Takiya was sitting.
Detectives interviewed witnesses seen on the video, and they identified Jones, police said.
Takiya’s age was key in motivating witnesses to come forward instead of remaining silent, police said. Also key was Takiya’s cousin, Andrew Holmes, who said he reached out to Parkway Gardens residents personally.
Jones was charged last year with two counts of misdemeanor domestic battery and a single count of criminal damage to property, according to Cook County court records. He was also charged last year with misdemeanor assault to a teacher, although the case was dismissed when the victim failed to show up in court, according to court records.
He is expected to appear in bond court Wednesday.
—Homicide Watch Chicago and Chicago Sun-Times Wire contributed to this story