Man arrested for shooting of 11-year-old girl killed in alleged gang dispute
The mother of an 11-year-old girl shot and killed over a bloody weekend in Chicago has a message for the man charged with firing the bullet that struck her daughter's head: "Rot in hell."
Naikeeia Williams vowed on social media to be present for every court appearance of 19-year-old Antwan Jones, who on Tuesday was charged with first degree murder in the death of her daughter, Takiya Holmes.
"God is good," Williams wrote on Facebook after Jones' arrest. "It won't bring my baby back, but I'm happy."
Little Takiya was shot in the right temple as she sat in a van with her 3-year-old brother, her mother and her aunt on the 6500 block of South King Drive at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Takiya was rushed to Comers Children's Hospital, and taken off life support Tuesday.
"Takiya passed away in her mother's arms," a cousin, Rachel Williams, wrote on Facebook.
Police said the little girl had been hit by a bullet Jones intended for rival gang members.
"He saw three individuals who he felt did not belong in the area and he chose to get a handgun," Chicago Police Cmdr. Brendan Deenihan said.
Jones and several Black Disciple gang members had walked through the Parkway Gardens apartment complex to confront people they believed were selling marijuana in drug-selling territory they had claimed as their own, prosecutors said at a bond hearing Wednesday, DNAinfo Chicago reported.
"Obviously, we know now that he didn't hit any of them," Deenihan said.
Surveillance video from the scene and help from the local community tied Jones to the incident, police said. He turned himself in Tuesday.
Jones "was previously identified by CPD to be at a greater risk of becoming of a victim or an offender of gun violence," Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said.
He had been arrested seven times as a juvenile and three times as an adult, for charges including federal aggravated assault, domestic battery and assault, police said.
Jones was denied bail on Wednesday. Police said there are no other people being sought in connection to the death of Takiya, DNAinfo wrote.
The gun Jones allegedly used in the shooting has not been found, police said.
Takiya was one of three children fatally shot in separate incidents over two days in Chicago.
Kanari Gentry-Bowers, 12, was shot close to the base of her head about half an hour before Takiya while playing basketball with friends at Henderson Elementary School.
She succumbed to her injuries on Wednesday.
Lavontay White Jr., 2, was fatally shot in the head Tuesday when the car he was riding in was ambushed in a gang-related attack, police said.
The little boy's uncle, Lazarec Collins, was also killed in the shooting, which had been captured on Facebook Live. Collins' pregnant girlfriend, 20, and her unborn baby were in fair condition, the Chicago Tribune wrote.
No arrests have been made in connection to deaths of Kanari or Lavontay.
"Gang violence in Chicago, while senselessly tragic, is something almost every Chicago police officer has faced at one time or another during his career... when this violence touches the innocent, or the young, that's when it's no longer just a part of your job — it becomes personal," Supt. Johnson said when announcing Jones' arrest.
During the press conference, Johnson pleaded for stricter gun laws, saying the Chicago Police are fighting a losing battle to reduce gun violence that has plagued the city in recent years.
Though CPD this year has arrested twice as many gun offenders as last year, violence has remained a constant, Johnson said.
"They think the judicial system in Cook County is a joke. They just don't fear it," he said. "The most dangerous thing a police officer can do on a daily basis is arrest a bad guy with a gun, and we're doing that double what we did last year. And it still doesn't seem to be a deterrent—and why? Because if I'm a gang member, and I pick up a gun and pull that trigger, if I know I'm going to be out in six months — that's a baseball season. I can do that."
There were 3,550 shooting incidents and 762 murders in Chicago last year.
The violence shows no signs of slowing down, as there were 51 murders and nearly 300 shooting victims in January alone, Chicago Police crime statistics show.
"I'm publicly pleading with our state legislators to give us the tools we need to make offenders think twice about pulling a trigger — we need to create a culture of accountability of picking up a gun and using it," Johnson said. "Enough is enough."