via CBS 2 Chicago
Two people are in custody Thursday in connection with Wednesday night’s drive-by slaying of a 9-year-old girl who was outside her grandmother’s house washing her dog when she was shot in the neck, according to a published report.
A rifle possibly linked to the crime has also been recovered, a police source said. Forensic tests are under way to see if it was the weapon used to kill Chastity Turner.
Speaking at an unrelated event late Thursday morning, police Supt. Jody Weis said as of 11 a.m., detectives were interviewing several people and had “very, very good leads.” At the time, he would not confirm that two people were in custody, or say whether a weapon had been recovered.
Chastity was shot in the back or neck when someone opened fire from a van in the 7400 block of South Stewart Avenue on the South Side. She later died at the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital. Three other people, including her father, were wounded in the shooting.
Chastity’s father, Andre Turner, 31, and two other men — ages 17 to early 30s — also were shot. The three all had non-life-threatening wounds.
Police found a van matching the description of the shooter’s vehicle a few blocks away.
Wentworth Area Deputy Chief Joseph Patterson described the van that fled the scene as green or teal in color. The vehicle involved in the shooting is believed to be a green van, but police could not immediately provide a description of the recovered vehicle.
Also Thursday, Chicago firefighters washed the blood off the sidewalk where Chastity was killed. It couldn’t wash away the agony the agony of her loss or the bitterness some family members feel about their treatment by police.
“They come at us like we the problem, like we the reason they’re shooting,” the victim’s cousin, Antoine Johnson, said. “They raided my aunt’s house. My little nephew’s four years old. (Police) got him in a corner. His daddy just got shot. And they asking him did his daddy have a gun? They’re not asking him is his daddy all right, but did his daddy have a gun?”
“They were searching the house, throwing everything everywhere,” Johnson said. “I can’t see that going on on the North Side.”
Police believe the shooting may be gang-related, but as of Wednesday night they said it was too early to make that determination.
The victim’s grandmother, Tanya Turner, says that shootings happen constantly in the neighborhood.
“She told me this morning, she said, ‘grandma, I’m going home, it’s not safe around here,'” said Chastity’s grandmother Tanya Turner. “I said, ‘baby, it’s not safe no place now.'”
Father Michael Pfleger and a squad of volunteers prayed with the family, posted flyers around the neighborhood and went door to door — urging the community to cooperate with police.
“Those killers stayed in somebody’s house last night,” he said. “And they shouldn’t be allowed to stay in anyone’s house. They are enemies of this community. They are murderers, they are killers.”
Chastity’s grandmother, Dene Edwards, lashed out against a kind of street revenge that victimizes the innocent.
“If I’m going to shoot you, I’m going to come and shoot you. I’m not going to stand across the street and shoot into a crowd of kids,” she said. “I’m not a coward like that. “All I’m saying is, y’all know who you want. Go shoot them, them. Quit killing the kids.”
Weis encouraged neighbors to come forward to help root out gang violence. Of gangs, he said: “They don’t come in from the suburbs. They don’t come in from Mars. They’re here in our community.”
Chastity, a student at James N. Thorp Elementary School, liked to dance and jumped rope, Johnson said.
Of about 20 cousins gathered at the house on Father’s Day, Chastity was the only one to accompany Johnson to a neighborhood park for a picnic. She showed off her latest dance moves — the Ricky Bobby and the Stanky Leg, Johnson said.
Chastity had five siblings and lived with her mother at 75th and King.
“She was active and involved in life and not scared to be herself,” Johnson said.
Funeral services for Chastity are pending.
Police are reviewing video surveillance from the area to try to gather more information on the possible offenders.
They are also asking for help from the community. If anyone has information, they are asked to call Wentworth Area (Area 1) Detectives at (312) 747-8380.
The same block — the 7400 block of South Stewart — has also been the scene of two other shootings this year. Police have executed search warrants on the same block in recent weeks seeking to seize weapons, sources said.
In June, a 22-year-old man was shot and wounded on the same block. In March, a high school student was shot and wounded there as well.
CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley, Suzanne Le Mignot and the STNG Wire contributed to this report.
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