Girl, 17, fatally shot in Hammond while answering door

HAMMOND, Ind. (WLS) -- A 17-year-old girl was fatally shot after answering the door of her home late Wednesday night in Hammond, Ind., police said.

Chloe Bell had dreams of graduating and becoming a lawyer one day. Her relatives said they do not think she was the intended target and could not think of who would want to hurt their family.

Officers responded around 11:45 p.m. to a report of shots fired in the 7400-block of Chestnut Avenue inside Saxony Townhomes. They found a teen inside the home who had suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

She was transported to Community Hospital, where she died at 12:21 a.m., the Lake County Coroner's Office said. No one else was hurt.

Bell's father, Calvin Peterson, said he was upstairs when the shooting occurred. Bell's mother and several young children were also inside the home, including a baby. The family was enjoying a movie night.

"I hit the floor and heard her mama downstairs screaming, 'Call 911!' Her mama was praying for her and you know just screaming and I just saw my daughter laying there," Peterson said.

Peterson said just before the shooting the family heard banging at the door. Bell's family said she thought her brother was at the door, but before she could see who was on the other side someone opened fire.

"The bullets went through the door. She got shot in the eye. I don't know if she was looking through the peep hole and got hit in the eye, but she got hit in the eye and a couple of more other places," Peterson said.

There were at least six bullet holes in the front door and at least three in an upstairs window.

"This is terrifying. This is terrifying, it's sad and heartbreaking," Peterson said.

Next door neighbor Shavonne Handy was upstairs with her 5-year-old son when she heard the gunshots. One of the bullets went through her bedroom wall.

"I dropped to the floor, grabbed my son, laid on top of him and told him not to move because they are shooting, and later a bullet came through my wall and hit my television," Handy said.

Chloe's family doesn't believe she was the intended target. They said she didn't have any enemies and wonder why someone would do this.

"How would you feel if somebody came knocking at your door and just shot you without the door even being open? Would you like your life to be taken?" asked Skylar Bell, aunt.

Bell's relatives are remembering her as the energy that drove her family.

"Chloe was bright. She made a joke about anything. She never let anything doubt her and she was always a hard worker," said Skylar. "Chloe never had any enemies. She made friends with pretty much everybody. She was the energy to our family. She really was."

No one is in custody. The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone who has information on the shooting should call Detective Sergeant Shawn Ford at 219-852-2998.
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.