By JEFF MAYES
Chicago Sun-Times Wire
At least 19 people died from violence in one of the deadliest weeks of the year across Chicago. The victims included an 11-year-old girl caught in crossfire while playing near a South Side school; a 12-year-old girl shot while sitting in a relative’s van; and a 2-year-old boy killed when gang members fatally shot his uncle.
The 19 deaths, including the three young children, were the highest weekly total of the year so far in Chicago, matching the total from the week of Jan. 15-21. At least five homicides were reported in one day twice last week.
“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 a statement Tuesday.
- The 11-year-old girl died at Comer Children’s Hospital on Tuesday morning after being struck in the head by a stray bullet on Saturday night. Takiya Holmes was sitting in a van in the 6500 block of South King Drive when she was struck by what police believe was a stray bullet, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. She died about 8 a.m Tuesday after being on life support since the shooting.
Takiya was sitting next to her 3-year-old brother in the back seat—her mother and aunt were in the front seats—when gunfire erupted about 7:40 p.m. in the 6500 block of South King Drive in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood, authorities said.
On Wednesday, police said a 19-year-old man was charged with the murder, and said Antwan C. Jones opened fire because he saw people he didn’t think belonged in the neighborhood. Police said he surrendered after being identified by witnesses. Joes as ordered held without bond.
- Kanari Gentry-Bowers, a 12-year-old struck by a stray bullet as she played at her school playground on Saturday night, died Wednesday after four days on life support at Stroger Hospital.
Bowers was on the basketball court at Henderson Elementary, on the corner of 57th and Wolcott around 7 p.m. Saturday when gunshots rang out. She was struck in the head, and family members said in the ensuing hours that emergency responders and doctors revived her at least three times after her pulse all but disappeared. She died at 3:48 p.m. Wednesday. No arrests have been made in the case.
- Two-year-old Lavontay White and 26-year-old Lazarec Collins were killed, and the boy’s aunt wounded in an attack Tuesday afternoon in North Lawndale that was partially captured on Facebook Live. The woman was streaming video at the time of the shooting, which occurred in an alley in the 2300 block of South Kenneth Avenue.
The three were in a car in the alley about 1:30 p.m. when another vehicle drove past and someone got out, pulled a weapon and fired shots, according to police. The toddler and Collins were both shot in the head. They were taken to Stroger Hospital, where they died. The woman and her unborn child were expected to survive.
Three men have been charged with murder in the case, and police say they are still looking for at least one more suspect. Bond was denied for Doniel Harris, 19; Jeremy Ellis, 19; and Devon Swan, 26. Prosecutors say the three were targeting Collins as retribution for an earlier slaying for which they believed he as responsible.
- A 33-year-old man was shot to death Saturday afternoon in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side. Eddie Thomas was sitting in a vehicle at 3:33 p.m. in the 4900 block of West Van Buren when someone in a silver sedan pulled up and opened fire, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. Thomas suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his body and was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where he died at 5:11 p.m., authorities said. He lived nearby in the same neighborhood.
- A 31-year-old man died early Saturday, one day after he was shot in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side. Travis Joseph was on a porch at 6:23 p.m. Friday in the 1400 block of West 71st Street when anther male walked up, pulled out a weapon and opened fire, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. Joseph was shot in the chest and was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 4:11 a.m. Saturday, authorities said. He lived in the same neighborhood as the shooting.
- A 36-year-old man was killed and two others wounded in a shooting early Saturday in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. About 4:30 a.m., officers responded to a call of a person shot in the 4500 block of South Wood, police said. Officers found John Gonzalez, who lived in the same block, with a gunshot wound to his head being put into a vehicle by several friends, police and the medical examiner’s office said. He was transported to University of Illinois Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A 32-year-old man and a 26-year-old man also wounded in the shooting took themselves to Stroger Hospital, police said. The older man was shot in both legs and the younger in his right hand. They were both in good condition. Witnesses were uncooperative with police and no one was in custody.
- Two men were shot, one fatally, early Saturday, also in the Back of the Yards, according to police. Just before 3 a.m., officers responding to a call of shots fired in the 5000 block of South Ashland found 23-year-old Willie Cooks in a building with a gunshot wound to his back, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. Cooks, of Roseland, was pronounced dead at the scene at 3 a.m. Officers also found a 28-year-old man nearby who had run away and was shot in the right leg. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.
- A 20-year-old man died and a 60-year-old woman was wounded in a shooting Thursday afternoon in the West Side Austin neighborhood. Iveill Hudson was standing on the corner about 1:45 p.m. in the 5700 block of West Chicago and talking on a cellphone when someone walked up and fired shots, according to police and the medical examiner’s office.
Hudson, of the Austin neighborhood, was shot in the abdomen and leg, and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he died at 5:04 p.m., authorities said. The woman was shot in the leg and was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, but was later transferred to Stroger, police said. Her condition had stabilized.
- A man walking to a bus stop with his girlfriend Thursday morning was gunned down in the Avondale neighborhood on the Northwest Side. Officers responding to reports of a person shot at 5:41 a.m. found him lying in the street in the 4000 block of West Melrose, according to police. Maximiliano “Max” Arroyo was pronounced dead at the scene. A police source said the victim was walking to the bus stop with his girlfriend when a vehicle pulled up and someone inside asked them if they had gang affiliations, then opened fire. The girlfriend was not injured.
- A man was shot and killed Wednesday night in the Marquette Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side. Brent Johnson, 27, was standing in an alley in the 3000 block of West Marquette about 8:45 p.m. when someone in a black car opened fire, hitting him in the head and groin, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene.
- Five people were shot—three fatally—Wednesday afternoon in the Brighton Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side. The shooting happened at 2:58 p.m. in the 3900 block of South Albany, according to police. The group was inside a home when a male suspect walked in and began shooting.
Filogonio Rivera-Camacho, 20; and Emmanuel Camacho, 18, were both shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. They lived on the same block as the shooting. Julian Miller, 19, was shot in the torso and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died at 3:27 p.m.
Another 19-year-old man was shot on the side of his body and was taken to Mount Sinai, police said. A second 18-year-old man was shot in his torso and was taken to Stroger Hospital. Both were in critical condition. A police source said the shooting appeared to be related to drugs. One of the victims ran from the home after the shooting and into a nearby business to call authorities, police said.
- An Amtrak police officer has been charged with first-degree murder after shooting a 25-year-old man while on-duty. LaRoyce Tankson, 31, turned himself into police late Thursday in connection with the shooting of Chad Robertson, 25, near Union Station Feb. 8. The 25-year-old Minnesota man died a week after being shot.
Robertson was pronounced dead at 11:20 a.m. Wednesday at Stroger Hospital, according to the medical examiner’s office. An autopsy Thursday found he died of a gunshot wound to the back, and his death was ruled a homicide. On Wednesday, a federal lawsuit was filed on his behalf against the rail agency and the unnamed officer who shot him about 8:45 p.m. on Feb. 8 near Jackson and Canal. Chicago Police have said Robertson was unarmed.
- A man was shot to death early Wednesday while driving on Lake Shore Drive in the North Side Lincoln Park neighborhood. Jorge Navarro Jr., 25, was driving a Lexus southbound about 3:45 a.m. in the 2300 block of North Lake Shore Drive when another vehicle pulled alongside and someone inside shot him in the chest, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. The Lexus then crashed into the center median. Two other people in the care were not injured. Navarro was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:37 a.m. less than an hour later. An autopsy found he died of multiple gunshot wounds.
- A 62-year-old man who was shot to death Tuesday afternoon in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the West Side. Eddie Wade was sitting in a parked vehicle about 2:40 p.m. in the 3400 block of West Walnut when a dark-colored Jeep pulled alongside and someone inside opened fire, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. He suffered gunshot wounds to the chest and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:55 p.m. An autopsy showed Wade, who lived in Chicago Lawn, died of multiple gunshot wounds.
- A South Side man was shot dead inside a South Shore neighborhood store on Tuesday morning. Just before noon, someone walked up to James Johnson when he went into the store in the 2000 block of East 71st Street and shot him in the chest, according to police. Johnson, 23, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he died at 12:38 p.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.
- An 18-year-old man was fatally shot Tuesday morning in the North Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side. Malike Ellis was riding in a vehicle around 9:30 a.m. in the 4100 block of West 18th Street when another vehicle pulled up and someone inside fired shots, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. Ellis, who lived in the same neighborhood, was shot in the chest and the driver took him to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died minutes later, authorities said.