Mom Of Girl Killed On Front Porch: ‘They’re Not People, They’re Animals’

Updated 03/19/12 – 4:53 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — The mother of a 6-year-old girl who was gunned down in front of her Little Village home over the weekend said the two purported gang members charged with murder are “not people, they’re animals.”

Choking back tears as she spoke to reporters in her daughter’s bedroom, Diana Aguilar said she was untangling her daughter’s curly hair on Saturday when two teenagers pulled up in a pickup truck, shouted gang slogans, and opened fire, killing her 6-year-old daughter, Aliyah Shell.

CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports two purported gang members — 16-year-old Luis Hernandez and 18-year-old Juan Barraza — each have been charged with one count of murder and two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm in the deadly shooting.

juan barraza 0318 Mom Of Girl Killed On Front Porch: Theyre Not People, Theyre Animals

Juan Barraza, 18, is charged with murder in the shooting death of 6-year-old Aliyah Shell in the Little Village neighborhood. (Credit: Chicago Police)

At a bond hearing for the pair on Monday, prosecutors said the teenagers were out to kill a rival gang member when they opened fire outside Aliyah’s home as she sat with her 2-year-old sister, her mother and her mother’s boyfriend on the steps in front of her house in the 3100 block of South Springfield Avenue on Saturday.

Authorities have said a pickup truck approached the house at about 3:35 p.m., when it stopped in the street, someone reached out of the window, pointed a gun at the four people at the house, and opened fire.

“She didn’t deserve this. A 6-year-old little girl didn’t deserve this. She didn’t even see it coming. She didn’t even get a chance to run. She didn’t get a chance to do nothing,” Aguilar said Monday as she clutched a picture of Aliyah. “She was just minding her own business in between my legs as I untangled her hair, because she had beautiful curly hair and it would get nappy, so I was untangling it for her.”

aliyah shell 0318 Mom Of Girl Killed On Front Porch: Theyre Not People, Theyre Animals

According to prosecutors, Hernandez fired the shots that killed Aliyah, while Barraza was driving the truck.

Aguilar said she tried to protect her two children when the gunman opened fire, but she couldn’t save Aliyah.

“Everything happened so fast, that I just knocked my 2-year-old down on her back and I hugged Aliyah and I hugged her so tight, hoping that it would hit me,” Aguilar said. “I wish that all of those bullets would have hit me, but they didn’t. They hit my poor baby.”

Prosecutors said Hernandez and Barraza are members of the Latin Kings street gang. Hernandez allegedly confessed to police that he was ordered to shoot and kill a member of the rival Two-Six Killers gang.

Aliyah’s family denied having any gang ties and said they had no idea why they were targeted by the suspects.

“Their thing was to kill. To kill what? My 6-year-old? What did she do to you? What did she do to the world? What did she to do anybody, but smile? Be a good kid? Love school? Just love life? She doesn’t have that opportunity anymore, because they took it from her,” Aguilar said.

Hernandez and Barraza were allegedly caught on videotape leaving the truck used in the shooting. When Hernandez was questioned by police, he allegedly admitted he saw Aliyah and her sister on the front steps of the home with their mother and the mother’s boyfriend before he opened fire.

“They’re not people, they’re animals. They’re animals, because a human being, a person with a heart would never do this, so they’re not people,” Aguilar said. “They’re animals for doing this to my baby.”

Barraza was ordered held on $2 million bail. Bond was denied for Hernandez.

According to prosecutors, Hernandez was wanted on a juvenile warrant for a probation violation stemming from an aggravated robbery conviction. Barraza has no criminal history.

Police said Aliyah was shot twice in the spray of bullets aimed at her home. She was pronounced dead Saturday evening at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Her death left her mother inconsolable.

“What am I going to do? What am I going to do without my baby? Can someone please bring her back to me, please I beg you,” Aguilar said, weeping. “She didn’t deserve this. Look at this. This is my baby, my baby. I need her back with me.”

Aguilar said one of the hardest parts of all this is Aliyah’s 2-year-old sister, who survived the shooting, keeps asking where Aliyah is; and Aguilar doesn’t know how to tell her Aliyah is gone.

Aliyah was one of 10 people who were shot and killed in Chicago over the weekend. At least 40 others were wounded by gunfire.

  • German Leprechaun

    Funny how family and “concerned neighbors” come out, and cry and throw their arms up for the cameras. Why did they tolerate drug sales in their damn alley? Why was the little girl’s house targeted?? News flash for angry neighbor Ray: the politicians can’t do a damn thing about your neighborhood’s animals. YOU and your “concerned neighbors” — if you have the ba!!s to — need to STEP UP and take charge of your turf!!!

    • ih

      It well known in the area that they have family members that belong to gangs. When things like this happen everyone says “my family is not involved in gangs”. WAKEUP LADY.

    • THEE Yard Ape

      BRAVO lawn jockey!!!!!

      • German Leprechaun

        Hmm… I wonder if there’s some kinda “Daytime Emmy” award for news website postings… ‘CAUSE I OUGHTA GET IT, dammit.

      • German Leprechaun

        Comin’ from you, Lawn Orn’mint, that’s a real comp’mint.

  • tom sharp

    Exactly German L.
    ‘Sources said the back alley on that block is a spot for drug sales…

    Too bad the cops and community leaders didn’t care enough about the drug sales to stop them. Vigilante Justice is the only thing that works in the Barrios of this town.

  • Sue

    @ You’re 100% correct, I don’t always agree with your commits,but your right.the people in these neighborhood’s are key to stopping these THUGS!! they have to say enough is enough! and do something about it.

    • LYNDIA

      Hey you Sue

      Whatchall mean by THE people and THESE neighborhoods?? Just you better watch dat mouth of yours.

      • brent james

        What kind of name is “Lyndia”? Are you from that neighborhood? You sound like part of the problem. Watch you own stupid mouth and keep it from smoking crack.

  • louie

    I`M moving to syria its safer

  • Jmason

    How about we just line the boy up in front of a wall and shot. Save time and money.

    • THEE Yard Ape

      That is EXACTLY what needs to be done!!!

  • German Leprechaun

    Curious how the story keeps changing. Earlier reports were that the little girl was “making chalk drawings on the sidewalk”; now, she’s sitting on the steps with family. Earlier reports said the shooter got out of the truck and stood to shoot. Now, the shots were fired from an open window of the truck.

  • Claudia

    Let my poor cousin grieve her loss. Nobosy has the right to die. Even if it takes place inside of a white school, to a black school to the hispanic schools. A 6yr old doesn’t deserve to die. They admitted they were in a shooting rampage- so if it wasn’t them it would of been someone else.,0,3717085.story

    • ih

      Im sorry for the lost but it is well known in the area that family members belong to the opposing gang. Your right nobody has the right tod die but when you play with fire you will get burned.

    • German Leprechaun

      Claudia, your resigned attitude almost seems to justify what happened! For God’s sake, help your cousin take charge of her neighborhood!! Why aren’t all the MEN coming outta their houses to confront these animals?? Who in that house was “banging”? Why was her house targeted?? Or was it a case of “wrong address”?

    • jleonard14

      Come on…you know that white people deserve to die.

  • Aliyah Shell murder 3/17/2012 Little Village, Chicago, IL *6-year-old girl shot while sitting on her front steps by gang members trying to shoot a rival gang member; Juan Barraza and Luis Hernandez have been charged with her murder* « Bonnie's

    […] Prosecutors: Slain 6-Year-Old Was Victim Of Gang Violence Six-year-old Aliyah Shell killed in drive-by shooting 2 Charged in 6-Year-Old’s Murder Girl, 6, killed in Little Village as gun violence erupts around city 5 dead, 12 wounded in attacks across Chicago Two Teens Charged In Shooting Death Of 6-Year-Old Mom of slain girl, 6: ‘They’re animals for doing this to my baby’Bond set for teens charged in shooting death of 6-year-old girl […]

  • horrified

    This is a gang related shooting. They were targeting someone on the porch. In another article it states that there is a rabbit doll put up on the steps of a rabbit with a bent ear. This is the symbol for the 26 gang. I too was related to Aliyah so I have a right to say this.

  • not from south of I80-

    Another day in lito villago.

  • marc(proud black man)

    Those comments actually show just how evil your race is!!! Too bad that wasn’t your family killed!!

    • rickashea

      hey i’m puerto rican and i fought my way out of these neighborhoods by hard work and education which i paid for myself i have been married for 22 years and have 2 16year old girls and a 12 year old boy i don’t ever believe nor fool myself into thinking that this is unique but it can be prevented by women closing their legs going to school and wanting more for themselves and their children. they are not products of their enviroment but of their mentality and their hormones. just having babies with no moral or educational structure.people with no desire to goals and ready to f&ck like animals.

  • Alex

    Got to be kidding me, all of them should be tortured! Shoot them in their legs and cut their arms off. They dont deserve to die, but they deserve pain to justify such action. As well as other gangs, cut their skin off to take away those gang tattoos!

    This is pathetic, they are fighting their own kind. Just because you live half a mile away – you have an enemy? These kids are so narrow minded. This is 2012! There is a world outside the small box they live in. Pathetic, pathetic.

    Gangs that have a history in killings and drug trafficking should all be treated as terrorist and take them to jail. These are terrorist terrorizing an area and should be treated just like any other terrorist group.

  • Mya

    This is NOT about race or territories. This is about an innocent child who’s life was lost by street terrorist. Not everyone is born with opportunities and luxuries of living in a safe neighborhood. It doesn’t define who a person is and no child deserves to die. She will never have the chance to live as log as these small minded and heartless people posting horrible things about race and an innocent child. You are just as heartless and cold as the filth that pulled the trigger when you push post. Imagine a child in your life you love and imagine them dying in your arms. The devil makes your soul rotten like these murderers. You need God. I will pray for Aliyah and evil like you and these killers. STOP the HATE.

    • Jaye


    • Zach

      You do not have to be born with luxuries or opportunities to keep your head low and avoid trouble. If you have a good set of parents, or even a single parent, to keep you out of trouble on the right path they can lead you the right away opposed to following into the cultural trap that many of those neighborhoods are in. It is absolutely devastating that a six year old lost her life. It is one hundred percent unjustified but now is the time for the neighborhood and the families to take action and stand up for themselves.

      Just think about how the culture is different with people in those neighborhoods compared to other neighborhoods. Children, I mean 10 years old and younger, wandering the streets at 1, 2, 3, sometimes 4am. The parents are the ones who set the kids up for the failure that is inevitably happens 90% of the time. Good work to those who do the right thing and utilize hard work and dedication to get out of the neighborhoods. They deserve more credit than the suburban people who, according to you, have the luxury and opportunity that you do not. You know it’s out there… now get off your rear end and go get it. Until you work hard enough to get there do not cry wolf about how hard YOUR life is. It is your choice to live there.

  • Police Officer Shot, Critically Wounded In South Chicago Neighborhood « CBS Chicago

    […] The shooting comes on the heels of a bloody weekend in Chicago. About 50 people were shot, and 10 of them were killed, including 6-year-old Aliyah Shell, who was hit by gunfire as she sat on her porch in the Little Vill… […]



  • Reb Biker

    “They’re Not People, They’re Animals”.
    Truer words were never spoken.

  • BMH

    Her family had a choice of being in a gang, the shooters had a choice in killing a little girl. I really feel for Aliyah, it wasn’t her choice be born in a family with gang ties and it certainly wasn’t her choice to die (this woman’s brothers are all hardcore gangmembers).

    As long as her family and any other thug continues with their gang affiliations they are all responsible for her death. I truly feel for this child and hope her unfortunate death brings change to the community.


    The Drug War is so dumb…

  • angry girl

    The problem with Chicago and other major cities is the corruption of politicians that effect every aspect of life in a city. Why not a death penalty, why not let the police do their job, why so much attention and care to criminals, why not concealed carry (the strict gun laws are not working) where is the Sheriff in this matter.

    On the next election keep on voting for the same politicians you always vote for, if nothing is changed in politics what do you expect to change in society. For example, Sheriff Tom Dart takes care of inmates so well, he provides microwaves in the Jail, takes transexual inmates out of jail in the public to get their hais and nails done on your dime, expects no officer to swear or raise their voice to inmates in no situation whatsoever, provides more programs for inmates than any sheriff has in Cook County….and all this is to raise attention, get votes, make more easy jobs for friends. This also makes the largest single site jail the most criminal friendly, the rise in officer assaults nearly trippled as soon as Dart became Sheriff. So what do you have to loose if you go to jail, you can kill a cop and no pain whatsoever will be experienced in Jail or Prison because you are now a celebrity.

  • Trayvon Martin - Page 2

    […] 1,336 It couldn't happen to Obamas kid, he would be on vacation with 25 SS guards. I feel for the family, terrible tragedy. Obama shouldn't comment unless he is going to comment on the rest of the racist problems. Especially gangs. What about the innocent kids that get shot by a drive by this little girl.…gang-violence/ […]

  • Other bloodbaths « Everyday Red Flags

    […] Drive-by shooting […]

  • pedro

    it’s part of our culture gang banging and drug dealing just look at Mexico

  • pedro

    its a shame that the mothers and fathers allow their kids to be in gangs and endanger the lives of their other family members

  • Violent Start To Spring Spurs Major Gang Crackdown « CBS Chicago

    […] Mayor Emanuel says the city will spend $8 million to give more kids summer jobs, in the hopes of keeping them from joining gangs or becoming their victims – like Aliyah Shell, 6, while sitting on her front porch in the Little Village neighborhood. […]

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