Police release pictures of suspect in teen's death

17-year-old shot to death on CTA bus
October 6, 2008 8:49:18 PM PDT
Police have identified a suspect in the shooting death of a Chicago Public Schools student. Seventeen-year-old Kiyanna Salter was shot on a Chicago Transit Authority bus Sunday night.

Wearing a jacket with a distinctive print, police believe a man caught on CTA surveillance tape is responsible for Salter's murder. On Monday, the teenager's aunt made a passionate plea.

"I'm asking anybody if you know anything, if you heard anything, I beg you, I'm speaking from my heart, please, come forward," said Tara Bruce.

Salter was on the way home with her cousin when she was shot on the #71 bus. According to published reports, Salter's cousin says a passenger touched the hand of another passenger, and the two began arguing.

Police believe one man left the bus then fired through an open door, striking Salter in the face. Police say the teenager was an innocent bystander.

"There is not that much anger in the world. It is not. You know, pick up a gun and decide to fire it, and you don't know where these bullets are going to land," Bruce said.

Salter's family and friends joined ministers for a vigil on the corner of 71st and Woodlawn, where the teen was shot Monday night.

The teenager was a student at Percy Julian High School on the city's Far South Side, the same high school attended by Blair Holt, who was shot and killed while riding on a CTA bus about 18 months ago. This latest shooting took place around 10 p.m. Sunday night near the intersection of 71st and Cottage Grove.

It is yet another case of a teenager as an innocent bystander. Salter was apparently caught in the middle of an argument. Police confirmed Monday that she was not the intended target of the shooter and seemed to have been talking to him on the bus just a few minutes before the shooting broke out.

By all reports, Salter was a very popular girl at school, loved by her friends and family. Hugs and tears were exchanged outside Julian High School Monday as the news spread.

"All down the highway kids are crying. They're real sad," said Kimberly Smith, victim's friend.

"I cried and cried. I'm tired of crying. I'm tired of losing friends and cousins. That's just too much," said Shatia Wilson, victim's friend.

According to police, Salter was riding the 71st-South Shore bus with a cousin. That cousin said publicly Monday that Salters was shot after two men riding on the bus got into an argument when one accidentally brushed past the other.

According to the cousin, the younger of the two men got off the bus at 71st and Cottage Grove but then turned back and opened fire into the crowd. Salter was shot in the face and rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where she died.

Blair Holt was also shot on a CTA bus, and like Salter, he was a student at Julian High School.

"Waking up to that kind of news was overwhelming. Our hearts go out to the family and friends and loved ones. We know what they have to endure," said Ron Holt, Blair Holt's father.

Salter's family said Monday that Kiyanna wanted to be a doctor, she enjoyed playing basketball and was looking forward to going to prom.

Police still don't have anyone in custody. The shooter got away before anyone could get to him.


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