Girl wounded in Belmont Central shooting that killed sister gets Christmas surprise

Chicago police, local business owner wanted to make holiday special for gun violence victim

Friday, December 24, 2021
Young victim of Chicago violence gets Christmas surprise
Chicago police and a local business owner helped brighten a young girl's Christmas Eve Friday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A 6-year-old girl who lost her sister in a shooting last summer on Chicago's Northwest Side was surprised by Santa Claus Friday morning at Area South Chicago Police Headquarters.

"To see her face light up the way it did because we didn't tell her about it," said Danielle Broughton, Aubrey Broughton's mother.

Seven-year-old Serenity Broughton was killed, and Aubrey Broughton was injured in the shooting last August outside of a relative's home in the 6200-block of West Grand Avenue. They were not the intended targets, police said. One person has been charged in the fatal shooting.

"All she ever says, 'I miss my sister so much,'" said Michael Broughton, Aubrey's father. "They were like so close."

Danielle Broughton, Aubrey's mother, said she puts her own feelings aside to help her daughter rebuild her life without her sister.

"I have to look at her and compress my feelings about it to be strong for her," she said.

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Early Walker, a business owner, is the founder of "I'm Telling, Don't Shoot." He organized this Christmas surprise.

"We often highlight the violence in the community, but we always forget about the trauma that it causes the family," said Walker, dressed as Santa.

Santa arrived to Area South with his helpers on a "sleigh" and took Aubrey and her family for a quick ride before opening his sack filled with toys.

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"We have to find a way to address the trauma that is affecting our communities, and this is just one little thing that we are doing," said Glen Brooks, director of community policing at the Chicago Police Department.

Aubrey's father said she likely will stay up late Christmas Eve playing with her gifts.

"She is so happy. I know she can't wait to get home and open up everything," he said.

But this moment is bittersweet for Aubrey, not being able to share this experience with her sister. She said she was thinking of Serenity.

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"I just love her," she said.

Her mother said she tries to uplift her daughter when reality sets in.

"I always tell her to think of positivity about her sister," Danielle Broughton said.