Gang-related mass shooting in Chicago leaves girl, 8, dead, two other children in critical condition and seven adults injured

Ariana Molina by is licensed under Molina family

CHICAGO, IL - Authorities have confirmed that one young child was killed during a shooting in Chicago's Back of the Yard neighborhood. The deadly shooting left 10 others injured, including three other children. 

According to CBS News, the shooting took place at approximately 9:20 p.m. on Saturday April 13th, near West 52nd Street and South Damen Avenue. Police with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) said that the victims were at a family gathering when the shooting happened. Officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert of 18 rounds fired. Upon arriving on scene, they found multiple people shot on the block.

Early investigations indicate that the shooting was gang-related. NBC News reported that an eight-year-old girl died from a gunshot wound to the head, while two boys, a one-year-old and a seven-year-old, were critically injured after being shot multiple times. A nine-year-old boy suffered a graze wound to his left pinky finger and was treated for that injury.

Deputy Police Chief Don Jerome said that responding officers provided life-saving measures for the other eight victims, ranging in age from 19 to 40, by applying tourniquets and chest seals. 

The young girl who died has been identified by her family as Ariana Molina. Jerome said in a statement, "This was not a random act of violence. It was likely gang-related. Regardless of the motivation, three innocent children were struck tonight and one of them tragically succumbed to her wounds. The offender's actions, make no mistake, are horrific and unacceptable in our city."

A source familiar with what happened said that the children were outside playing when the shooting took place. Some adults were either inside or on the porch at the time of the shooting. In a statement released by CPD, a witness stated that they saw a black sedan approach the scene when the shots rang out into the crowd. All victims were transported to local hospitals by the Chicago Fire Department. 

Ariana's father, Jose Molina, said that all 11 people who were shot were family members and were celebrating his sister's confirmation. Ariana was in the front yard when she was shot in the head. Her mother was shot in the back. Due to her own injuries, Ariana's mother still does not know that she died. Jose said, "I know she's going to go crazy. She loves her. I don't even know what to tell her."

Jose's nephews were both shot twice in the stomach and he was shot in the foot. He said, "I was shot in my leg and my feet, but I'm ok. It just came in and out. I don't care about my leg. My daughter was too young for this. When I saw my daughter on the floor, she had a bullet hole in her head. I try to help her, but it was too late."

Jose and his family have lived in the neighborhood for 30 years and have not had any issues. Recently, though, he said they were in the process of moving out of the neighborhood because of an uptick in recent shootings. Jose said, "This is not the first time this thing happened around here. This past year, there's been already like four or five shootings, and they never catch no one."

According to NBC Chicago, investigators said that witnesses told police that they saw a black sedan pull up prior to the shooting and believe that there were at least two gunman involved. As of Sunday, April 14th, no on was in custody for the shooting. Area One detectives will continue to investigate. Mayor Brandon Johnson released a statement, calling the shooting a "heinous and cowardly act of wanton violence."

He added, "We are all allowed to be outraged today. A warm, spring day that I am sure this child would have been enjoying with family. I am praying for her loved ones and her community as they experience the unimaginable pain of losing a child. I am also praying for the recovery of the three children and seven adults who were injured in this horrific shooting. Our Mayor's Office of Community Safety has been in contact with the Chicago Police Department, which is committed to identifying and apprehending the individuals responsible."

For corrections or revisions, click here.
The opinions reflected in this article are not necessarily the opinions of LET
Sign in to comment


Powered by LET CMS™ Comments

Get latest news delivered daily!

We will send you breaking news right to your inbox

© 2024 Law Enforcement Today, Privacy Policy