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Teen gunned down on Chicago's South Side

May 27, 2008 7:05:44 PM PDT
A 15-year-old girl from northwest Indiana was killed in a drive-by shooting on Chicago's South Side Monday night. Police say at 10:45 p.m., Sharkelia Taylor was walking with a friend on the 6900-block of South Dorchester when a black Chevy Monte Carlo pulled up and someone inside the car started shooting. She was fatally hit and pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital just before midnight.

Family members say the teenage girl grew up in the area and was enrolled in the Chicago Public School system until she moved to Gary, Indiana, in 2006.

Taylor was visiting her grandmother for Memorial Day weekend.

A group of Taylor's friends who live in the neighborhood gathered to comfort each other and pray at the spot where she was gunned down. They say she never got into trouble and was a loyal friend.

"She was a good friend. We always joke around, play, and just talk all the time. She was cool. I will miss her, though," said one of her friends.

Police do not have a description of the shooter.

"It tears at your heart. We just hear far too much of it. The primary concern should be school and making friends and we should not have to worry about the kind of adult dangers they are faced with," said Michael Collins, Dunbar Pulaski M.S. principal.

Taylor was a popular eighth grader who played on the school's basketball team for a time.

"It hits really in the gut. It hits home. And maybe some of our kids are going to realize what's going on today because it's interesting. So one day, or one minute, and the next few seconds, you're gone," said Taylor's coach, Mary Aaron.

There were several shootings Monday night. About a half-hour before Taylor and the other girl were shot, there was an unrelated shooting in the 7800-block of South Essex. Twenty-seven-year-old Frederick Hogan was shot five times. He was killed.

Police say the other shooting victims had non life-threatening injuries. And the motives appear to be gang related.

"One of the things that we look at, or we try to look at, when we're investigating the shootings are, were there any types of gang affiliations? What are we dealing with when we are trying to investigate and locate an offender? And these instances, there seem to have been some type of gang affiliation in some of the shootings," said Monique Bond, Chicago Police Dept.

Seven shootings in one night may seem like a lot. But Chicago police say last year, for the same time period, there were 10 shootings.

But from a different perspective, police say Monday night in New York City, there were eight shootings. New York City has a population nearly four times that of Chicago.

Chicago police emphasized that parents should know where their teenagers are and emphasize that those teenagers adhere to curfew. All seven of the shootings happened after curfew.

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