Girl, 7, who ran candy stand, shot to death on street

June 28, 2012 8:54:10 PM PDT
A 7-year-old girl was shot and killed in the 1700-block of North Luna on Chicago's West Side Wednesday night.

Police are now looking for two men who shot at a group of people in the Austin neighborhood.

Heaven Sutton, 7, was going to be a second grader. She and her family were planning on going to Disney World in July.

Heaven and her mother were selling candy at a stand in front of their home all day Wednesday. Afterward, around 10:45 p.m., as Heaven played with friends outside, two men fired shots at a group of people. A 19-year-old man was shot in the ankle and is recovering.

Her mother says Heaven was shot in the back. Heaven died later at Loyola University Medical Center.

Witnesses believe that the suspects were in a gang. The 7-year-old was not the target. No suspects are in custody. Witnesses say they saw a gang member fleeing the scene with a gun in his hand.

"I can't sleep. I'll sleep when I die. And y'all cannot just get away with killing my baby. Y'all took her life. She just got her hair did today, she was going to Disney World," said Ashake Banks, Heaven's mother.

Her mother said she ran inside and collapsed in the hallway.

"She was a diva. At 7, she liked expensive clothes and liked to get her hair done," Banks said. "I figured they knew us. They won't come to the neighborhood and start shooting. You have to put a chain on this so people wouldn't steal this."

Heaven's mother says she started the candy stand as a way of trying to bring the community together to fight violence in the neighborhood.

"She was beautiful. Still is beautiful. I'm going to miss her a lot," said Heaven's brother, Malik Ellis, who witnessed the shooting.

Heaven had been asking her mother to move out of the neighborhood. She had been concerned with some of the gangs, violence and shootings. Her mother said they were about to move in the next month or so.

Police say a number of witnesses have come forward and they may be close to an arrest.

"We have incredibly strong leads on this case, and I anticipate a very, very, very quick turnaround and an arrest on what we saw last night," said Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

No one is in custody.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel grew emotional while talking about the case and gang violence.

"It's not about crime. It's about values. Where were you raised and who raised you? Stay away from the kids," said Emanuel.

A group of pastors marched Thursday evening and announced a $3,000 reward for information leading to the gunman.

Check out ABC7's coverage of initiatives to stop the violence in Chicago


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