Stray gunfire kills girl at party
By Dave Wischnowsky
Tribune staff reporter
March 12, 2006, 10:23 AM CST
A 10-year-old girl was shot and killed Saturday in a spray of bullets while attending her birthday party in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, only eight days after a 14-year old girl was killed blocks away.
The dead girl was identified as Siretha White by her mother, Siretha Woods. She said the party was in honor of her daughter and another girl.
"The bullet came straight through the window," said Dwight Stevenson, White's uncle, who lives in the 6800 block of South Marshfield Avenue. "We thought it would be safe."
Reporters at the scene found the street littered with bullet casings.
The fifth grader reportedly was shot in the back of the head. A man was grazed on the chin by one of the bullets and was in stable condition at Holy Cross Hospital, police said.
The shooting in the 2000 block of West 70th Street was only blocks away from the home of Starkesia Reed, 14, who was killed March 3 as she stood inside her home.
Carail Weeks, of the 1300 block of West 51st Street, was charged Friday with first-degree murder for Starkesia's death.
Police said Weeks, 24, was firing at his girlfriend's former boyfriend with a high-caliber rifle that had been converted to fully automatic use. The rifle sprayed 29 rounds down the street, authorities said.
One of the bullets pierced a window of the Reed house in the 6700 block of South Honore Street, striking Starkesia, who had come to the window to see what was going on.
Armica Reed, 20, the sister of Starkesia Reed, was visiting the home of friend Crystal Ross nearby Saturday night when she heard the shots and learned the 10-year-old girl had been shot. Reed said she knew the little girl.
"It's scary," Reed said. "I know exactly how they feel, the pain they're feeling. We've got to put a stop to this."
Ross expressed frustration and a sense of futility following another murder in her neighborhood.
"It doesn't make sense," Ross said with tears streaming down her face.
"They're killing our kids. This is ridiculous. We can't get anyone to help us in Englewood. I'm fed up. I'm 26 years old, and this has been going on for 26 years. It's not safe for our kids.
"The only way to be safe is to get out of Englewood. And that's not fair. We have a right to be safe in the area where we're comfortable."