Romeoville shooting victim Briana Valle, 15, dies

February 16, 2014 (ROMEOVILLE, Ill.)

Briana Valle, 15, died at Loyola University Medical Center at 2 p.m. Saturday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. Valle and her 33-year-old mother were getting into an SUV outside their home in the 300 block of Emery Avenue about 7 a.m. Thursday when a gunman walked up and shot the girl in the head, then her mother in the neck, Romeoville police Chief Mark Turvey said.

Erick M. Maya, 23, of the 5600 block of Park Avenue in Cicero, was charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, and one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, according to Chuck Pelkie, spokesman for the Will County State's Attorney's office.

Maya and Valle previously dated, Turvey said in a release issued Friday.

Authorities have not yet recovered the gun used in the alleged crime, police said in a release. Romeoville police are asking neighbors not to touch any firearm or other potential piece of evidence they may find in the neighborhood, and report it to police immediately.

Maya had previously been convicted of aggravated domestic battery in Cook County, according to court documents.

Judge Corey Lund signed an arrest warrant Friday afternoon, which set bond at $5 million for Maya, who will make his first court appearance via video at 9 a.m. Saturday in Joliet, according to Pelkie.

Both victims were initially taken to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital in serious condition, but later transferred to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, officials said.

The mother remained in good condition Friday night, police said.

Four persons of interest located nearby were initially taken into custody Thursday afternoon following the shooting, police said.

As of Friday morning, two of those had been released, while a third was being held in the Will County Adult Detention Facility on unrelated charges, police said.

Maya is now the lone suspect in the shooting, police said Friday night.

Turvey had previously said the shooting did not appear to be a random act, nor a robbery, and that either the woman or her daughter — or both — were likely targeted.

Romeoville police and the Will County Major Crimes Task Force continue to investigate.

The girl was a freshman at Romeoville High School, a school official said.

Valley View School District 365U Supt. James Mitchem issued a message to parents and students in light of the incident.

"As you are well aware, our community has been greatly affected as a result of the tragic event involving one of our Romeoville families," Mitchem said in the message.

"We are saddened by this tragic situation and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and all those who are affected," the message said. Counseling is available for students and staff members coping with the situation.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2014.)

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