Mom of 3 shot and killed at bus stop

October 8, 2009 4:24:59 PM PDT
Chicago police are looking for the person who gunned down a mother of three while she waited for a CTA bus. The family of Natasha Howliet set up a memorial at the bus stop on the 3300-block of West Madison. Police say Howliet was waiting for the bus around 8 p.m. Wednesday when someone in a red car opened fire.

Paramedics rushed Howliet to Mount Sinai Hospital where she later died.

Police say it was a case of mistaken identity. They are looking at video from a surveillance camera hoping for clues.

Howliet was shot in the back, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner. It's believed she was an unintended target.

The 20-year-old mother of three young children was killed.

On Thursday, Howliet's family had to identify her body. Her mother was too distraught to speak on camera.

"We are deeply saddened by this loss," said James Matthews, stepfather.

Howliet's stepfather says efforts to combat violence in the city have fallen short.

"All this week you reading about kids dying and people came from Washington and all that stuff just the other day. You see what difference it made? It didn't make no difference," said Matthews.

At the bus stop on West Madison, there is a police camera that apparently got images to assist in the investigation.

"This is another senseless tragedy that just doesn't seem to come to an end. The good news is you've got excellent camera footage, and we're very optimistic that we can solve this case," said Supt. Jody Weis, Chicago Police Department.

In the meantime, Howliet's friends and relatives struggle with the loss of a young woman starting a new career and her family.

"I wish somebody would step up, and if they saw anything, what the person looked like, the license plate," said Shenicka Sturghil, cousin. "We just need to know, so the police can get this solved because we really want to know. Why would somebody take her life? She had so much to offer."

"Please give yourself up. Those innocent child, which is my child, my oldest. Please give yourself up," said Mario Howliet, father.

Howliet had just gotten her medical assistant certificate and was preparing to launch a new career. She was currently working at a retail store, but had big plans for herself and her family. She leaves behind a little girl who turned 3, another little girl, a 1-year-old, and a 6-month-old baby boy.


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