Girls, 11 And 12, Shot; ‘Kids Can’t Play In A School Playground’

CHICAGO (CBS) — Two girls were in critical condition Monday morning, after they were shot in separate attacks less than an hour apart over the weekend.

Takiya Holmes, 11, and Kanari Gentry-Bowers, 12, both were struck by stray bullets Saturday night.

Kanari was playing basketball with friends in a school parking lot in West Englewood around 7:15 p.m. Saturday when a car pulled up and someone inside started shooting. Kanari was shot in the neck.

“They’re looking at us like idiots out here on the streets, people. Kids can’t play in a school playground. That was my moomoo. That’s what we called each other. She didn’t do nothing. She didn’t deserve this,” said her uncle, D’Juan Donald.

About 30 minutes later, Takiya was in a van with her mother and other relatives, when they stopped at her mother’s workplace in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood, and bullets came flying through the window.

“Once they stopped, she asked if everybody was okay, and Takiya did not respond,” said Takiya’s grandmother, Patsy Holmes.

Kanari was taken to Stroger Hospital, where she was in critical condition. Family members said her heart stopped beating several times on Sunday.

“Whoever did this, they should turn theyself in. I mean, just go on ahead and turn yourself in. I don’t know, I don’t know, because 11 and 12. These babies haven’t even lived their life. They is in grammar school, 3rd and 4th grade,” said Rochetta Tyler, a relative of Kanari’s. “I’ve got kids right now at my house, about seven of them, just holding each other, because they is affected by this.”

Takiya was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where she also was listed in critical condition. She wasn’t showing any signs of brain activity Sunday night, according to her family.

She is a student at Smith Elementary School, and many of her classmates filled the emergency room after she was shot. Grief counselors were being provided at the school Monday morning.

Takiya’s family said they are preparing for the worst, but crossing their fingers for the best.

“We’re hoping that she pulls through. You know, swelling went down yesterday. She got more color,” said her cousin, Rachel Williams.

Amid those pleas, a special prayer for the kids Takiya might leave behind.

“We’re talking about trauma on both ends of Takiya, but the lasting effect it’s going to be for her little brother,” Williams said.

No one was in custody in either shooting Monday morning.

With such similar circumstances to the shootings, the victims’ families said they might connect.

“Thinking of them, and thinking of how they’re feeling, and vice versa. So it’s unfortunate, and honestly from listening about the other girl, I could see Takiya and her actually being friends,” Williams said.

Community activist Andrew Holmes, a distant cousin of Takiya’s, was offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in her case. The hotline is 800-883-5587.

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