DOLTON, Ill. (CBS) — A 16-year-old girl was shot to death just days before the school year began again in south suburban Dolton, and she was not the intended target.
As CBS 2’s Eric Cox reported Wednesday night, there is a call for the person for whom the bullet was meant to come forward.
A Village of Dolton trustee said the person Akeira Boston was with on Tuesday lied to detectives, telling them he didn’t know her.
But a surveillance camera captured the truth – and that trustee wants the actual target to help catch Akeira’s killer.
“She was never the target,” said Dolton Village Trustee Andrew Holmes.
She was never the target, but now she is gone. As mourners gathered Wednesday, balloons floated toward the sky – some pink, others white. All of them conveyed feelings of hurt as they soared higher.
“It hurts. It’s like a gut-wrenching hurt too,” said Akeira’s stepfather, Darryl Smith.
The 16-year-old was set to start her junior year at Simeon Career Academy next week. Instead, a couple hundred people were huddled together outside the school, 8147 S. Vincennes Ave., in her honor Wednesday.
Akeira was shot twice while sitting in a parked car outside a convenience store at 142nd Street and Woodlawn Avenue in Dolton on Tuesday night.
“I was just praying and hoping that it wasn’t true,” Smith said.
The teen was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, where she later was pronounced dead.
Authorities said the bullets were not meant for Akeira, but for the boy with whom she was at the store.
Holmes told CBS 2 the gunman saw the boy and “chased him right to that car two feet, while she was sitting in the car.”
Holmes said the boy lied to detectives, telling them he didn’t know Akeira. But store surveillance tells a different tale – one where Akeira’s life was never intended to be taken.
“Go back to the Dolton detectives, because you lied and said you didn’t know her. Go back to the Dolton detectives, turn yourself in, give them the information on who that shooter was shooting at you, because this baby was never the target,” Holmes said, addressing the boyfriend.
CBS 2’s Cox asked for a copy of the surveillance video. Detectives said they are trying to follow a few leads before releasing it.
Holmes said the shooting happened minutes after a village meeting where trustees approved the hiring of 15 additional police officers.