Chicago officers and detectives gather at the home where 11-year-old Shamiya Adams was shot Friday night.
Photo credit: John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/MCT
She was making s'mores when the bullet tore through a wall Friday night on the West Side, fatally wounding the 11-year-old who'd been enjoying a sleepover with friends.
Thirteen hours later, ingredients were still spread out on the bed.
A pack of Hershey's bars. A box of graham crackers. A bag of marshmallows tied off at the top.
Shamiya Adams was sitting on the floor in her best friend's East Garfield Park home, settling in for a nighttime snack, when the bullet struck her head around 9:30 p.m. Police said the shot appeared to have been fired from outside the house.
After being rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition, Shamiya was pronounced dead just after 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
Her killing was part of yet another bloody summer day in Chicago. In a 12-hour period, at least 22 people were shot. The injured included a 12-year-old girl, who was wounded in a triple shooting just blocks from where Shamiya was slain, and several teens injured elsewhere in the city.
"It's just the way the young boys think out here," said David Jones, 44, as he stood with his 2-year-old grandson Friday night near where Shamiya had been shot. "Some get a kick outta hearing the gun go off."
The tragedy that can result was on full display Saturday at Aaron Hill's home in the 3900 block of West Gladys Avenue.
Choking back tears, he showed the bullet hole in the wall near where Shamiya, his daughter's best friend, had been playing Friday night. Beneath a Tweety Bird doll hanging nearby, traces of the girl's blood stained the wood floor.
"Everybody was in the room," said Hill, who said he wasn't home at the time of the shooting. "They were just doing their girlie things. They heard shots and a bullet came" into the room.
Harrison District Cmdr. Glenn Evans said police had no suspects Saturday night but had some leads.
"We're not letting this go," he said.
Neighbors walked by throughout the day to exchange hugs, offer support or just shake their heads.
On Saturday night, family and neighbors gathered with local clergy and politicians for a vigil and protest, which drew about 150 people in front of the two-flat where Shamiya was shot.
The Rev. George Daniels, pastor at First Baptist Congregational Church, where Shamiya and her family had been members for three years, said his church is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Her mother and other family members attended but were too overcome with emotion to speak during the vigil.
Shamiya's great-grandmother Lourene Miller, 66, said the girl, who has a twin brother, would wait up late for her mother to get home when Miller would baby-sit.
"She loved life, and she loved her family," Miller said after the rally.
Shamiya lived down the street from where the vigil took place, Hill said, and she walked to Melody Elementary School and went to church with his daughters. Though shootings are hardly unheard of in the area near Garfield Park, Hill said he thought the block he's lived on for four years was safe.
Hill cried when describing Shamiya's broad smile and loyal friendship to his children. He had yet to break the news of Shamiya's death to some of his younger kids, who had seen her shot and taken the situation "hard, very hard."
Elsewhere in the city, others were mourning their own loved ones who'd been shot. A half-dozen gunshot victims were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital overnight Friday and early Saturday.
Just moments after an ambulance returned from taking one gunshot victim to the hospital, the paramedics at a West Side firehouse were called to another nearby shooting scene.
On Saturday afternoon on Gladys Avenue, just a few blocks from the Eisenhower Expressway, friends and relatives struggled to come to terms with Shamiya's death.
Rosemarie Jones, the mother of Shamiya's friend, said she was two rooms away when she heard the gunshot that killed the girl. She said she saw men running away but couldn't make out their faces.
Even inside making s'mores, she lamented, a little girl wasn't safe on a Friday night in Chicago.
"I was trying to get kids off the street," Jones said, "and then this happened in the house."
Tribune reporters Juan Perez Jr., Deanese Williams-Harris, Jeremy Gorner and Liam Ford and Tribune photographer John J. Kim contributed.
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