A 7-year-old girl was killed and her little sister left “fighting for her life” after the pair were shot in Chicago — two of at least 47 victims of gun violence there over the weekend, police said.
The girls, identified as Serenity Broughton, 7, and her 6-year-old sister, Aubrey, were struck Sunday as their mother put them in the back seat of a car in a “gang-conflict area” in the city’s Belmont Central section, Chief of Patrol Brian McDermott told reporters, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
As bullets flew and chaos reigned around them, the terrified girls clung to each other, said their grandmother, Regina Broughton, to the Chicago Tribune late Sunday.
“They were hugging,” the grandma said of the girls. “When they separated and pulled apart, there was blood on both of them.
“Serenity’s injury was fatal. The bullet pierced her heart — she didn’t have a chance,” the grieving relative said.
Now the family is trying to figure out how to tell Aubrey her beloved big sister, who she nicknamed “Honey,” is dead, Regina Broughton said.
“[Aubrey] asked me today, ‘Where is she?’ and why hasn’t she come to see her. Where is Honey?’ ” the grandma said.
Investigators don’t believe that the girls or their mother were the intended target, an angry McDermott said.
“To say that I am sad and outraged would be an understatement,” McDermott said Sunday. “I can only hope that every resident of this city is angry, saddened and outraged as I am at this time. Too many young people have lost their lives to senseless gun violence in the city of Chicago.”
McDermott pleaded with residents to tell detectives what they may know about the shooting that killed Serenity, who was hit in her chest and torso, and her sister, left seriously wounded after being struck in the chest and armpit.
The young girls were among 47 people shot citywide from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, including five who were killed, the Chicago Tribune reported.
More than 250 children have been shot in Chicago so far this year, including 32 fatally, WLS-TV reported.
Community activist Andrew Holmes is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to a break in the sisters’ shooting, according to the Sun-Times.
“It’s not about the money, it’s just about catching these individuals before they strike and hit another child,” Holmes said. “Stop killing our children.”
Aubrey Broughton was moved out of an intensive-care unit at a hospital in Maywood late Sunday but had a pierced lung, CBS Chicago reported.
Her sister Serenity would have turned 8 in November.
Regina Broughton told the station Aubrey has been consoling their mother over the shooting.
“She keeps saying, ‘It’s not your fault, Mommy. It’s not your fault,’ ” the grandma said.
I’m lost, I’m lost,” Regina Broughton added. “I mean, they were my life, my everything. How do you prepare yourself for something like this?
“Someone should come forth and help the family and help us – because it didn’t have to happen to her,” she said of Serenity. “It shouldn’t have happened to her. She was innocent.”