A young girl was shot in the head by a stray bullet while inside her home in a suburb south of Chicago on Monday (September 23) night.
Kentavia Blackful’s family was gathered in the living room of their Harvey, Illinois, home to watch the Chicago Bears game when shots were fired outside around 9 p.m. and pierced the front window, WGN9 reports.
Kentavia was sitting at her computer choosing T-shirt designs for her upcoming birthday party when she was shot in the head.
She died around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday (September 24) at Advocate Christ Medical Center on what would have been her 12th birthday.
“This is a baby we’re talking about. She hadn’t even really experienced life yet,” her grandfather Kenneth Donner told WGN on Wednesday (September 25), CNN reports. “The position she was in, life was fun.”
Kentavia was a sixth-grader at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School. She was also an honor student, the class president, member of the school’s math team, and often tutored other students.
A balloon release was held Wednesday (September 25) evening in her honor.
The family is hosting a skating party to celebrate her tragically short life on Sunday (September 29).
No one has been taken into custody for Kentavia’s death, and Harvey Police have a reward for information about the shooting, according to WGN9.
“As a police department, we are committed to giving our full attention to this crime against our young resident,” Harvey Police Chief Eddie Winters said in a news release Tuesday (September 24) before Kentavia died, CNN reports. “We are asking for the support of our residents.”
Mayor Christopher J. Clark also said in a statement Tuesday prior to the young girl’s passing, “Our hearts are heavy at the news of this latest act of violence against innocent residents of the City of Harvey.”