2nd man charged in Austin shooting death of girl, 7, over July 4th weekend

Young girl killed during violent weekend in Chicago
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A second man has been charged with murdering a 7-year-old girl in a shooting at a Fourth of July party in Austin.

Davion Mitchell, described by his lawyer as a local rapper and religious man, is one of three gunmen who opened fire, killing Natalia Wallace and wounding a man believed to be the intended target, according to Cook County prosecutors.

Mitchell, 22, is the second man charged in deadly shooting in the 100-block of North Latrobe Avenue. Two other men are still being sought by authorities.

Reginald Lamar Merrill, 33, was charged in Wallace's murder last week. Prosecutors said he was the getaway driver.

A Cook County judge ordered Mitchell held without bail.

He is expected back in court on Aug. 3.

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One person has been charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of a 7-year-old girl in the South Austin neighborhood over the weekend, Chicago police said.



Wallace was playing on a sidewalk when police said three armed men got out of a white car and fired more than 20 times in the direction of the people holding the party that police said included many children.

"They personally chose to get into a car. They personally chose to have firearms on them, and they chose to shoot, and their bullets missed and they killed a 7-year-old kid," said CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan.

Chicago police say Merrill drove the white car that took shooters to the party where Natalia was killed.

"To see my daughter on the table with a gunshot wound to the forehead that will changed somebody's life," said her father Nathan Wallace.

The Wallace family said Natalia loved drawing and coloring, saying something in Chicago has to give.

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Police said using video from the neighborhood they followed the white vehicle through the district, identified a license plate, and were eventually able to stop the car.

Merrill was charged with Wallace's murder. Police are still seeking to identify and arrest three more suspects in the shooting. No further details about those suspects have been released.

Police said they believe a possible motive was gang retaliation. The investigation is ongoing.

Community activists say the bigger problem of violence in the city won't be solved by police, but from within the community.

"We have to put social workers on the street. We have to reopen up the mental health facilities. We have to put money and invest in programs for young people," said Ja'Mal Green, community activist.

Police say Merrill has invoked his right to remain silent. In the meantime they are imploring the three others involved to do the right thing and turn themselves in.

Sun-Times Media contributed to this report.
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