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On Saturday, an 8-year-old girl was shot in the head and killed in Little Village. She was struck by a stray bullet when someone opened fire on a man exiting a store nearby, reports Chicago police.
At 2:45 p.m., 8-year-old Melissa Ortega was walking with her mother when a gunman fired at a 26-year-old man on the 3900 block of West 26th Street. The man was struck in the back by the bullet, confirmed Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Ortega’s guardian heard the shots and saw the 8-year-old had been shot in the head. The little girl was transported to the Stroger Hospital and pronounced dead.
The intended target, the 26-year-old man was reported to be in critical condition at Mount Sinai Hospital.
According to the evidence markers placed by investigators, more than a dozen shell casings were recovered from the scene of the shooting.
Immediately after the shooting, 39-year-old Diane Thompson arrived at a nearby thrift store. A man knocked on her car window to tell her a little girl had been shot. Thompson witnessed first responders lifting the little girl into an ambulance on a stretcher.
The Chicago Teacher’s Union stated Ortega was a student at Zapata Academy in Little Village. They tweeted:
This suffering is becoming too familar for our babies and their families, who our educators love, nurture and support. Wishing Melissa’s family and Zapata community peace and healing tonight.
Ortega and her family recently moved to the neighborhood from Mexico. She was walking to Walgreens with her mother when the gunman opened fire, according to Andrew Holmes a community activist.
A GoFundMe page raised over $8,000 out of $20,000 Saturday night. This money will help the Ortega family pay for funeral expenses. The 8-year-old girl will be buried in her hometown in Mexico.
The owner of the GoFundMe page writes that the family was excited to begin building their own “American Dream in Chicago.”
Holmes urges anyone with information to come forward.
Written by Jeanette Vietti
Sun Times Media Wire: Girl, 8, killed by stray bullet in Little Village shooting and recently moved to city, attended Zapata Academy
ABC: Chicago girl, 8, dies after being struck by stray bullet
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