Gang conflict likely cause of girl's Back of the Yards shooting: Chicago police sources
CHICAGO -- A 17-year-old suspect was charged in the shooting of a 14-year-old girl back on June 2, according to Chicago police.
The suspect, who was identified as the individual who fired a handgun at the girl, was taken into custody Saturday night. He was arrested at approximately 7:34 p.m. in the 3700 block of W. 59th St.
A 14-year-old girl who was shot early June after being chased by three gunmen in Back of the Yards died later in the week.
Savanah Quintero was pronounced dead at 12:57 p.m. at Comer Children's Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
The shooting happened around 6 p.m. in the 1700 block of West 48th Street, Chicago police said.
The teen and her boyfriend had just bought snacks from a store when they were confronted by three young gunmen, according to police and 15th Ward Alderman Ray Lopez.
They asked if she was in a gang, and after she said she wasn't, the attackers chased her and opened fire, officials said.
Surveillance video shows them running away.
"It was 100% gang-related," the alderman said.
While the seventh grader was not part of a gang, a relative allegedly belonged to the rival Almighty Saints, Lopez said. One of the men fired twice, hitting her in the head.
She was taken to Comer in critical condition at the time, where she underwent surgery that night.
No arrests have been reported.
Lopez, who said he got details of the shooting from police, said a new gang in the area has been recruiting from neighborhood schools - focusing on kids 15 years and younger. He blamed the glorification of gang culture for violence in his ward.
"This elevation of gang life has to come to an end. It's not cute. It only comes to one outcome, what we saw last night," he said.
A classmate of the girl said the Party People had been moving into the area recently, with members in both high school and middle school in the Southwest Side neighborhood.
The classmate said she has seen them on the block where the girl was shot, talking to young people about the new gang.
"She was friends with everyone and tried to be if she could, even people who were affiliated with the old and the new gang," the classmate said. "I think it's related to that."
Lopez said the Saints have decades-long roots in Back of the Yards and are believed to be responsible for much of the violence, including the 2018 shooting of an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who was doing surveillance of a house near 43rd and Wood streets.
Saints member Ernesto Godinez is serving a 200-month federal prison sentence for the shooting.
Lopez said the Party People are relatively new to the area, with a stronghold at 47th and Damen, a half-mile from where the 14-year-old was shot. A video posted on YouTube about a year ago showed Party People members taunting the Saints.
The members are young and have been involved in vandalism, the alderman said. "They've been a nuisance more than anything," he said. "Seeing them graduate to shootings is unfortunate."
While the Back of the Yards neighborhood has seen a sharp drop in homicides from last year, residents said there have been more shootings recently. Lopez said officers are keeping a close eye on the neighborhood to prevent retaliatory violence.
Police have released few details of Wednesday evening's shooting, including a description of one of the men and the SUV they fled in. It may have been a Chevy Tahoe, a police spokesperson said.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2021.)