'You got the wrong people': Mother speaks out after 5-month-old girl killed in drive-by shooting

Evelyn Holmes Image
Sunday, July 3, 2022
'You got the wrong people': Mother speaks out after 5-month-old girl killed in drive-by shooting
The mother of a 5-month-old baby shot and killed while sitting in back of a car in South Shore spoke out for the first time since her daughter's death

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The mother of Cecelia Thomas, a 5-month-old girl who was killed in a drive-by shooting, spoke publicly for the first time about the incident that claimed her young daughter's life.

She was determined to speak for her child and did so outside the hospital where she said her final goodbye.

"Cecilia was gorgeous," said the baby's mother, Juanita Harris.

Harris is a mother in pain.

"She didn't even have her first birthday, like she didn't make age 6 months," she said.

Refusing to let her grief break her, angrily pleaded for those responsible to come forward, with her 3-year-old son and street pastor and community activist, Donovan Price, at her side.

"Cecelia was a part of us. She was our child," Donovan said.

It's been just over a week since the child was killed when police say someone inside another vehicle shot at their car as the family traveled in the 7700 block of South Shore Drive.

Harris, Cecelia's father, and Harris' 3-year-old son Kemone were all in the vehicle, taking the boy to his aunt's house when the June 24 attack happened.

The baby was struck in the head and died a few hours later.

"When you'll out here shooting, know who you are shooting at. Know your target. You got the wrong people," Harris said.

Amid her sorrow, there is anger as her daughter becomes Chicago's youngest victim of gun violence so far this year.

She wants the shooter to do the right thing.

"It's eating you up inside. You see me. The same pain I'm feeling, you need to turn yourself in," Harris said.

Meanwhile, as a mother, Harris struggles with not only how to pay for her baby's funeral but also how to exist in a future without her little girl.

"We need answers," Harris reiterated.

Police are still looking for whoever is responsible for what the family calls a case of mistaken identity. So far, no one is in custody and no arrests have been made.

Community activist Ja'Mal Green, who is running for Chicago mayor, has offered a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in this case.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is encouraged to call 1-800-883-5587.