CHICAGO — A 7-year-old girl was shot to death and her little sister seriously wounded as they left their grandma’s house Sunday afternoon on the Northwest Side.
The shooting happened 2:50 p.m. in the 6200 block of West Grand Avenue, police said. The little girls — identified by family as Serenity and Aubrey Broughton — were in a parked car when someone fired shots nearby, according to police.
Serenity, 7, was shot in her chest and torso, police told CBS2. She was pronounced dead at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. Aubrey, 6, remains in the hospital with a gunshot wound in her chest and right armpit, CBS reported.
“Everybody is trying to keep each other strong through all of this right now,” Alysha Tolefree, a cousin of the girls’ mother, told Block Club. “Serenity lost her life, and we are just praying for Aubrey now.”
The girls, who lived in South Shore, had been visiting their maternal grandmother when the shooting happened, their paternal grandmother told CBS.
Police Chief of Patrol Brian McDermott told reporters the girls’ mother was getting them in the back seat of the car when they were shot. They were not the intended targets, police said.
“To say that I am sad and outraged would be an understatement. I can only hope that every resident of the city is as angry, saddened, and outraged as I am at this time,” McDermott said at a Sunday news conference. “Too many young people have lost their lives to senseless gun violence in the city of Chicago.”
The girls’ parents are at the hospital with Aubrey, praying for her recovery, Tolefree said. She created a GoFundMe page Sunday to help the family cover the cost of both Serenity’s funeral expenses and Aubrey’s medical care.
As of Monday, the campaign had raised $1,495 of its $100,000 goal from 21 donors.
“Their parents need help. They can’t do it by themselves. The family is doing what we can but we’re also asking the community to step up and donate,” Tolefree said. “And we need help from the community to see who did this. Try to find Serenity’s killer to bring them to justice.”
The girls’ family is urging anyone with information to come forward. People can submit anonymous tips here.
“I’m lost, I’m lost. … I mean they were my life, my everything,” the girls’ grandmother, Regina Broughton, told ABC7. “How do you prepare yourself for something like this? She was a beautiful child. Her spirit was beautiful, innocent, everything about her was innocent.”
At a separate press conference outside the closed Garrett Morgan school in West Englewood, activist Ja’Mal Green said one key to preventing crime is investment in underserved neighborhoods.
“Our young people in these neighborhoods, they have the potential to be whomever they want to be,” Green said. “The fact that we are depriving them from institutions, with under-resourced schools, with a lack of business, and jobs opportunities and a lack of help in these neighborhoods, then you point the finger at everybody but who’s actually holding the real power here — it’s not fair to our young people, and our young people deserve more.”
Serenity was one of at least two people killed in Belmont Cragin over the weekend. An 18-year-old man was shot to death Friday evening in the 5100 block of West Fullerton Avenue.
Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th), who represents the area where the shootings occurred, urged residents to call 911 if they see suspicious behavior or people carrying guns in the neighborhood, and to cooperate with police during their investigations.
“We just want to put an end to this nonsense violence that’s plaguing the city,” Villegas said.
Block Club’s Mina Bloom and Atavia Reed contributed.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.