Police seek public's help after woman killed by stray bullet

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A woman was struck by a stray bullet and killed in Heart of Chicago last week. Police are asking for the public's help to find the suspect. (WLS)

A 25-year-old woman was struck by a stray bullet and killed in the city's Heart of Chicago neighborhood last week. Police are asking for the public's help to find the suspect.

Police say they have surveillance video from the scene, and that's provided some positive leads, but they're hoping the public can help connect the dots.

Police spoke in personal terms about the death of Aaren O'Connor, who had moved here from California.

"I have a young daughter myself, 19 years old. I'm sure she's going to be asking to move somewhere sometime soon, and I think of that," Lt. Ozzie Valdez said.

O'Connor was killed Friday evening near Damen and 21st Street in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood, a victim of possible gang crossfire. Police said she was sitting in her car outside her apartment around 6:40 p.m. when a stray bullet hit her in the head. O'Connor was on the phone with relatives when she was shot.

"She was incoherent, didn't know where she was, and kept saying that her head hurts," said David O'Connor, her father. "I wish I could have known what was going on, so I could have told her that I love her one more time."

Police said they have positive leads and are looking at surveillance video in the area, but detectives appealed for help.

"We are strongly encouraging any citizens - any members of the community that have seen something during the incident, seen something after the incident - we're asking them to come forward," Lt. Valdez said.

O'Connor moved to Chicago about a year-and-a-half ago to take a job with Oak Brook-based toy company Tomy and to be with a long distance boyfriend. The move had worried her father.

"I pleaded with her when she told me she was going to go to Chicago," he said. "I said there are much safer places for you to be."

"It really pulls at your heart strings. This is a young lady who moved here to Chicago to follow her dreams and pursue a new job about a year and a half ago," Lt. Valdez said.

A reward will soon be offered in this case by Aaren O'Connor's friends and co-workers as well as Crime Stoppers. An announcement is planned for this weekend.

Related Topics:
chicago violencechicago shootingChicago - Lower West Side
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