CHICAGO (CBS) — The family of a little girl who was shot while trick-or-treating spoke out Sunday night, while the suspected juvenile shooter stood charged with attempted murder.
“I couldn’t speak,” said Areli Garcia. “I just started crying. I felt sad.”READ MORE: 'When I Finally Got To Be Elvira, That's When My Life Calmed Down': Mistress Of The Dark Peels Back The Curtain
Garcia was describing how she reacted when she first saw her young cousin, Gisselle Zamago, lying in her hospital bed.
The 7-year-old wasn’t smiling in her Minnie Mouse costume as she is in the photo the family supplied, but was instead in hospital scrubs, being treated for multiple bullet wounds.
“It was going through my mind, why her? Why that got to happen to her?” Garcia said. “She didn’t deserve it.”
But bullets fired on Chicago streets all too often are indiscriminate.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reported, Gisselle was trick-or-treating on Halloween Thursday night along 26th Street near Lawndale Avenue in Little Village, when police said a 15-year-old gang member shot her while gunning for a rival.
At the time, Gisselle was innocently dressed as a ladybug as she trick-or-treated with her father and siblings.
The shots heard on this surveillance camera sent people running for their lives.
But little Gisselle wasn’t able to run. She dropped to the ground after being struck in her neck and abdomen.
Gisselle was rushed to Stroger Hospital of in critical condition. And although the second-grader’s condition has improved, she still faces a difficult recovery.READ MORE: Teen Stabbed With Scissors After Argument On CTA Red Line Platform At Jackson Station
“She couldn’t say nothing. She was just moving her head; saying yes to everything,” Garcia said. ”She couldn’t even open her eyes a lot.
But Gisselle survived, prompting a message for the people of Chicago from her family.
“We are thankful for their hope and prayers,” said cousin Katelyn Hernandez
Now, everyone just hopes that Gisselle will be coming home soon to her three brothers and her extended family.
“She’s really an innocent and happy child,” Hernandez said.
And Gisselle is a child whose sudden absence has left a huge void in her home.
“We love her and we’re just waiting for her to come home back,” Garcia said.
Police said following the shooting around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the 15-year-old boy who fired the shots ran into an alley, threw the gun in a trash can, and then urinated on his hands in an effort to get rid of gunpowder residue.
He also later removed the hoodie he was wearing at the time of the shooting, and gave it to a friend to hide. Police have recovered the clothing.
Police said the assailant had been wearing a white “Jason” mask and was firing at a rival gang. The intended target was a 31-year-old man, who was wounded in the hand, police said.
Police said that man is not cooperating in the investigation.MORE NEWS: Record 53,000 Rat Complaints Help Chicago Retain Crown As Rattiest City In America For 7th Year In A Row
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the recovering girl and describes her current condition as stabilized.