AUSTIN — A 7-year-old girl was killed in the Austin neighborhood Saturday evening while visiting relatives in yet another act of gun violence against a child in Chicago.
She was identified by family as Natalia Wallace, an East Side resident who came to the West Side to celebrate the Fourth of July. Officers on the scene said the shooting was captured on a neighbor’s doorbell camera, and investigators have the footage.
Chicago Police said they responded to a call of two people shot near 152 N. Latrobe Avenue at 7:02 p.m.
The 7-year-old girl was on the sidewalk when a light-colored vehicle pulled up and three men got out and began firing shots, according to police, who said they recovered 27 shells on the scene.
The girl was shot in her forehead and taken to Stroger Hospital, where she was pronounced dead about an hour later, according to Chicago Police spokesman Hector Alfaro.
Also wounded in the shooting was a 32-year-old man who was known to police and possibly the intended target, according to police on the scene Saturday night.
The 32-year-old victim drove himself to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was in fair condition with a gunshot wound to the ankle and a graze wound in the leg, Alfaro said. It was unknown if he was related to the girl.
Outside Stroger Hospital, family members gathered and waited for news. They let out anguished wails and screams once they found out the girl died.
Activist Andrew Holmes, speaking outside the hospital, said “unfortunately we had a baby that was 7 years old, visiting some relatives when individuals discharged weapons, striking this baby. … Doctors did all they could to save this child but this baby has succumbed to her injuries.”
Holmes provided comfort and counsel to the girl’s family at the hospital and spoke for them to the media. He described their anguish, saying, “There’s so much anger and pain going through the family right now.”
He also appealed to the public to speak up if they have any information about Saturday’s murder or any of the recent, unsolved murders of children in Chicago.
“We still have cases that haven’t been solved. The 1-year-old, the 3-year-olds,” he said. “Stop blaming the police department and the detectives and do what we gotta do because somebody on the streets knows who the shooters were.
“Somebody on the streets knows who took this child’s life. This is the third week we have lost a baby. Somebody on the street in this city of Chicago knows who discharged that weapon and took this child’s life. Let’s find out who this individual is. They shouldn’t be sleeping anywhere tonight.”
On June 20, 3-year-old Mekhi James was shot and killed in the South Austin neighborhood.
On June 22, a 3-year-old girl was wounded when a bullet grazed her in Chicago Lawn. The girl was playing outside when someone in a car opened fire.
Just days later, on June 27, 20-month-old Sincere Gaston was shot and killed in Englewood.
On the same day, 10-year-old Lena Nunez Anaya was shot and killed in Logan Square.
On June 30, a 3-year-old girl was shot in Englewood. She is now recovering.