11-year-old Chicago girl shot in the head dies: family

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 14, 2017 3:34 PM

By Timothy Mclaughlin

CHICAGO (Reuters) - An 11-year-old who was one of two young girls shot in the head in separate incidents in Chicago during the weekend has died, relatives said on Tuesday, as the city continues to struggle to curb gun violence.

Takiya Holmes, who was shot on Saturday evening, died Tuesday morning, Andrew Holmes, her cousin, said in a telephone interview.

"This is a tough one," Holmes, a community activist, said. "It is a big, big loss mainly for her mother, great-grandmother and grandmother."

Takiya Holmes, whose mother also confirmed the death, was shot while sitting in the rear passenger seat of a parked car on the city's South Side, officer Jose Estrada of the Chicago Police Department's Office of News Affairs said.

Police are investigating the crime but no suspects are in custody, Estrada said.

Chicago, a city of 2.7 million, struggled through a wave of violence last year with 762 killings. The violence has drawn the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly criticized city's inability to quell crime.

There have been 63 killings this year, down from 75 for the same time period in 2016, but the number of shootings has increased from 300 to 313, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Tuesday.

Also shot on Saturday evening was Kanari Gentry Bowers, 12, who was hit in the head by gunfire while playing with her friends at Henderson Elementary School, according to police.

Kanari remains hospitalized as police search for a suspect.

"This is an example of what we are dealing with, a block by block war that is going unchecked, uninterrupted, with 10-year-olds, 11-year-olds, 12-year-olds being gunned down in the process," Alderman Raymond Lopez told reporters at a news conference after the shooting.

Both girls appear to have been struck by stray bullets, local media reported.

Community members gathered Monday night outside of Henderson to urge people who may have information about the shooting to come forward.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago)