Girl planning 12th birthday party killed by stray bullet in Chicago suburb

CHICAGO, Ill. — A girl was on a computer planning her 12th birthday party this week when she was shot in the head by a stray bullet, according to officials in Harvey, Illinois.

Kentavia Blackful died the next day — on her birthday — her mother told CNN affiliate WGN.

“This is a baby we’re talking about. She hadn’t even really experienced life yet,” her grandfather, Kenneth Donner, told WGN on Wednesday. “The position she was in, life was fun.”

CNN has reached out to Kentavia’s family for comment.

Kentavia, an honor student who was president of her sixth-grade class, was at her home Monday around 9 p.m., when she was fatally shot, according to WGN and officials in Harvey, a suburb south of Chicago.

Her family had been watching the Chicago Bears game while Kentavia worked on the computer, choosing T-shirt designs for her birthday party, relatives told WGN.

She was taken in critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center. She died around 10:30 p.m., Tuesday, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

Police had no one in custody in the case as of Wednesday night, WGN reported.

“As a police department, we are committed to giving our full attention to this crime against our young resident,” Harvey Police Chief Eddie Winters said in a news release Tuesday before the girl died. “We are asking for the support of our residents.”

“Our hearts are heavy at the news of this latest act of violence against innocent residents of the City of Harvey,” Mayor Christopher J. Clark said in a statement Tuesday before Kentavia died.

The girl’s family and supporters on Wednesday night released balloons that might otherwise have been used for her birthday, WGN reported.

Kentavia attended Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School, where she tutored her fellow students, the station reported.

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