CPD: 6-year-old shot to death, 2 others hurt

August 7, 2011 (CHICAGO)

It happened about 6 a.m. Sunday in the 7400-block of South Sangamon.

Relatives say there was a block party Saturday night on South Sangamon. Cousins, nieces and nephews all stayed over at Linda Chatman's house. They were all asleep when there was a noise came from the small front porch. Then a young man with a gun began close range firing into the house -- at least seven shots -- through a window, through the TV, into the wall. One bullet hit a 17-year-old Stacy Jones in the living room. Another hit a 17-year-old boy.

"Everyone woke up. I was just throwing kids into the bathroom and that's when I realized my little niece was shot," Chatman said.

Arianna Gibson was asleep on this couch in the dining room of her aunt's home. Two bullets hit her, and one in the chest was fatal. She was supposed to begin her first day of first grade on Monday.

"She was sweet. She loved to play. She loved to come and be with me," said the victim's grandmother Christine Collins.

"It's a very sad day," said the victim's uncle Jimmie Williams. "You hear about this all the time and you never think it comes to your family."

The shooter ran through a gangway across the street, leaving behind the latest young victim of gun violence.

On Sunday afternoon, 30 blocks north of where Arianna Gibson was killed, at least 10 parents of other young people lost over the years to street violence gathered to help keep attention focused on the drive-by murder of 13-year-old Darius Brown last week.

Their message is that too often people know things, but keep silent, and that violent crime knows no boundary.

"What that shows you is if it could happen to me, it could happen to her, it could happen to Everyone. And that's why we need people to take a stand before it effects them," said Joy McCormack, mother of a slain college student.

"It's the code of silence. We don't need the Army or Marines. We need to the community to speak up about what's going on with our children," said Tonya Burch, mother of a slain teen.

Englewood community activist Andrew Holmes says the code of silence must end.

"If anybody in the house knows anything about why this house was targeted, they need to step up because this baby does not have another day. She's gone," Holmes said.

Thirty blocks south, Linda Chatman is still reeling over the death of her niece Arianna Gibson. There happens to be a sign on her front door, placed there long ago, inches from where the gunman stood. The sign reads: "Don't shoot. I want to grow up."

The two teens who were also shot in Chatman's home suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Arianna Gibson's family says they do not know why anyone would target them. Family members say a dispute in the neighborhood a couple weeks ago may have had something to do with the attack, but their information is non-specific.

Police are only saying that the investigation is ongoing.

Arianna Gibson's family has established an account in her name at the TCF Bank at 87 W. 87th St. to help pay for her funeral costs. Donations can be made by calling 800-823-5363.

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