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Back of the Yards

Girl, 14, Dies Days After Being Shot In Back Of The Yards: ‘We Are Losing Our Children’

Savanah Quintero, 14, died Saturday at Comer Children’s Hospital. She was shot Wednesday in Back of the Yards.

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BACK OF THE YARDS — A 14-year-old girl died this weekend after being shot Wednesday in Back of the Yards.

Savanah Quintero was pronounced dead 12:57 p.m Saturday at Comer Children’s Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The teen was shot 6:09 p.m. Wednesday when she was walking in the 1700 block of West 48th Street. Surveillance video shows Quintero was walking a dog, according to WGN. Neighbors told ABC7 she was leaving a convenience store with her boyfriend.

Then, three people came up to the teen, and one pulled out a gun and fired shots, police said. Quintero was hit in her head and taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition.

Surveillance videos showed three people walking up to an intersection where the girl was shot. Another camera catches the three people sprinting to an SUV waiting for them in a nearby alley, according to the report.

Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) said Quintero was leaving a corner store when three people — who he said are gang members — chased her and shot her. He hopes the videos from the shooting will help police find her killers, he said.

But after another shooting death, it’s time to tackle gang violence head-on, Lopez said. He plans to introduce legislation during the next City Council meeting that would hold parents of gang members accountable for crime.

“We need to focus on our families,” Lopez said. “I’m working on legislation now that in many categories will hold parents responsible for the deeds of their children. Parents no longer deserve a free pass with what their children do when roaming the streets.”

Berto Aguayo, founder of Increase the Peace, said family and community members were distraught by the slaying. 

“It’s important that we remember that situations like this should not be normal,” Aguayo said. “It should not be normal for a 14-year-old, who was walking out of a grocery store, to be shot in the head. That is not normal. We should never become accustomed or desensitized to it.”

While Quintero was hospitalized, the youth group, which focuses on peace initiatives, held a prayer vigil for the 14-year-old near 47th and Wood Street. Aguayo said the group is working to saturate violent “hot spots” with resources and opportunities for Back of the Yard youths.

“We are losing our children,” Aguayo said. “Whether it’s through street violence or police violence, it has the same root cause, which is disinvestment or lack of opportunities in communities like ours.

“If we want to tackle this issue, yes, we have to hold individuals responsible, but we also have to hold systems responsible for these conditions … . We have to tackle the cause, not just the symptoms of the problem.”

That means there need to be opportunities for young people — and more safe spaces for them, Aguayo said.

“It’s not rocket science,” Aguayo said. “All we are asking for is the same thing kids on the Gold Coast and Lakeview have … . That’s not a radical demand. that’s justice.”

No one is in custody. Detectives are investigating.

During a press conference Monday afternoon, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said the Chicago Police Department was following up on “investigative leads” but were not ready to share them yet.

Dennihan said authorities had a “good video” and will eventually work with the press to help identify people in the footage.

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