(CHICAGO) — A girl was shot inside an Illinois house just before her 12th birthday and later died on what would have been her special day, officials said Wednesday.
Kentavia Blackful was shot on Monday around 9 p.m. in a house in Harvey, a south suburb of Chicago, spokeswoman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Officer Natalia Derevyanny told ABC News.
She was pronounced dead on Tuesday, her 12th birthday, at Christ Hospital, according to Derevyanny.
She had been rushed to the hospital in critical condition following the shooting.
“It’s a shame that we’re sitting here in the house and we can’t even sit in the house. A child cannot play,” the girl’s grandmother told ABC Chicago station WLS-TV. “Today is my baby’s birthday, and for them to take her birthday from her, and she has a basketball game today she was looking forward to this.”
Blackful’s grandfather, Dennis Hunt, told the station that he was standing outside on the porch when two people came up to him and opened fire. The two individuals had reportedly walked from one end of the block to the other before shooting.
One of the bullets then reportedly went through a window and struck Kentavia in the back of the head while she was sitting at the family computer, according to WLS.
Derevyanny said she could not confirm where Kentavia had been shot because they hadn’t yet received her body.
Kentavia lived at a home on the 15800 block of Paulina in Harvey, according to Derevyanny. The home where the shooting happened was also on that block but authorities would not confirm whether Kentavia was shot in her own home.
Harvey police did not immediately respond to ABC News for comment, but told WLS that no one is in custody.
The city’s mayor, Christopher Clark, urged anyone who may have seen something to come forward.
“I find it hard to believe that a person walks down an entire block to get to the end of the block and ring out shots, and no one sees a thing,” Clark told ABC News. “We really need, in order to solve this heinous crime, we really need the communities active participation.”
He said tragedies like this one “shake us to the core.”
“It affects the whole community but specifically your young people and your seniors because those young people and seniors, they’re the ones that feel helpless,” Clark said.
The superintendent of Harvey Public Schools District Number 152 identified the girl as a student at Brooks Middle School.
“Our thoughts are with her family and the greater Harvey School District 152 community,” Superintendent John F. Thomas said in a statement on Tuesday, before the girl had died.
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