A 10-year-old girl is dead and her older brother tells police that he thinks the bullet that killed her was meant for him. Police Chief William McManus calls it a Thanksgiving tragedy.
It happened in the 100 block of Harwood Street on the near-northwest side as the sun was rising Thursday.
“I heard eight or nine rapid fire ‘bam, bam, bam, bam’ shots and then like a five second gap and then three more shots fired,” said one neighbor who didn’t want to be identified.
Police said that the slugs passed through the walls of a tiny wood-framed house and at least one of the bullets hit Deliah Hernandez in the chest.
Chief said that the little girl was watching television.
“EMS worked hard on her in the house and they finally transported her,” Chief McManus described.
The girl died at University Hospital a short time after she arrived.
“It's an unfortunate, tragic, beyond tragic, incident. Any day is bad, but Thanksgiving makes it worse,” said McManus as he struggled to find words. “There will be place for this person when he goes to the next life."
McManus added that there were five people in the home when the bullets went flying. The chief also said that the house has been the scene of previous police activity and he called the attack gang-related.
"They've just started talking to the brother, who has admittedly said, 'I was probably the target.' There are a lot of indications that it's gang-related and it's unfortunate that he brought this home to his family," Chief McManus said. “This is just unforgivable and I don't understand how anyone, and we've been through this again and again and again. I just don't understand how anyone can be so, so selfishly insensitive about who might be a victim, who might be on the other end of that bullet.”
Because of the early hour, there were few witnesses out, although many people called police to report hearing shots fired. Police are hoping anyone with helpful information will share it.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page here to cover funeral expenses.