Memorial Service Held For 7-Year-Old Girl Killed By Gang Gunfire
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UPDATED 07/06/12 4 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A memorial service was held Friday for the 7-year-old Chicago girl who was caught in gang crossfire last week, as authorities considered filing charges against a second suspect in the fatal shooting.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, Heaven’s body was laid in an open casket at the front of at St. Mark International Christian Church, 832 N. LeClaire Ave.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports
She was remembered as a passionate girl who loved to dress up, to be pampered, and to sing and dance.
The girl’s mother, Ashake Banks, managed to maintain her composure as she stood over her daughter’s coffin. But for others, the loss of Heaven was too much to bear.
“This is horrible, it’s terrible. No family should have to go through this,” Susan Moser said.
Her son attended Locke elementary with Heaven. They were among the hundreds that packed St. Mark International Christian Church, which has no air-conditioning. A cooling bus sat outside; inside, members passed out much needed water.
In poetry, song and dance, mourners paid tribute to the little girl.
Led by Rev. Jesse Jackson, speaker after speaker pleaded with the audience to use Heaven’s death as a rallying point for change.
“It’s Heaven today — Sally tomorrow,” Jackson said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent a representative, Felicia Davis, who said at the funeral, “We have to examine ourselves, and we have to do better.”
As Heaven’s casket was carried out, relatives say they already see a glimmer of hope for change. Two men are in custody for Heaven’s murder, and it’s all because the community talked to police.
Heaven was shot in the chest as she sold candy with her family on June 27 outside her home in the 1700 block of North Luna Avenue, in the North Austin neighborhood.
Jerrell Dorsey, of the 1600 block of North Laramie Avenue, was charged last week with one count of first-degree murder in Sutton’s death. He was ordered held without bond. Police said Dorsey is a gangbanger and was aiming at a rival who apparently had stopped to buy lemonade around 10:40 p.m. June 27.
A 19-year-old man also was shot in the ankle in the attack.
Criminal Court Judge Adam Bourgeois Sr. denied bond for Dorsey this past Sunday.
Police say the shooting stemmed from an ongoing war between two gangs – the 4 Corner Hustlers and the Maniac Insane Vice Lords, police tell the Sun-Times Media Wire.
Heaven had told her mother that she wanted to move out of North Austin – which the family had called home for six months – because of all the violence in the area.
She had just gotten her hair done for a trip to Disney World that had been planned for next month.