CHICAGO (CBS) — Police have made an arrest in the shooting death of 10-year-old Lena Nunez, who was visiting her grandmother in Logan Square in late June when shew as shot in the head while watching television. Police say the community helped bring the man into custody.
While Christopher Lara, who has now been charged in Lena’s death, is not talking to the police, but the community did. Police say it made all the difference in the case.
Lena loved playing with her brother. She was watching television with him when she was shot in the head by a stray bullet that came through the window of her grandmother’s Logan Square apartment.
Lara, 19, has now been charged in her death. Police say he drove the car that brought the shooter to the scene.
“They were spraying bullets everywhere, and this particular bullet goes through the second floor of the home, and it strikes Lena in the head, and it causes her death,” said Chief Brendan Deenihan with the Chicago Police Department. “The community allowed the detectives to view any sort of video the community members may have had. Every murder is important, but when you have a 10-year-old little girl killed, it pulls at everybody’s hearts. These detectives just really put in the extra effort that’s necessary to bring cases like this to a conclusion, and they did it through the use of technology.
Police said the shooter, who they are still looking for, was targeting a rival gang. Nine other people were shot.
Lara was charged with one count of murder in Lena’s death and nine counts of attempted murder.
“There is some sense of relief, but we still need the shooter,” said Robert Torres, president of Parents for Peace and Justice.
Torres spoke on behalf of Lena’s family and said the emotional toll left behind for her family is great, especially for her brother, who saw her get shot in the head.
“Talk about a 12-year-old child being beyond traumatized,” Torres said. “He is devastated.”
Torres has been working with Lena’s parents and brother and connecting them with counseling services. He hopes the community will come together once again.
“Many cases that have gone unsolved,” he said. “Unless we catch the shooters, things will continue to be the same because they know they can get away with it. We’ve got to break the code of silence.”
Torres said besides helping Lena’s family, he is also helping her classmates. He’ll be setting up counseling sessions for any of her classmates to help them cope with the 10 year-old’s death.