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Mass shooting in Chicago leaves girl dead, 10 other people injured in Back of the Yards

Father speaks out after 9-year-old daughter killed in Chicago mass shooting
Father speaks out after 9-year-old daughter killed in Chicago mass shooting 02:15

CHICAGO (CBS) -- One child was killed, and 10 other people, including three other children, were injured in a shooting in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood Saturday evening, police said.

The shooting happened around 9:20 p.m. near West 52nd Street and South Damen Avenue, Chicago police said. The victims were at a family gathering when the shooting happened. 

Officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert of 18 rounds fired and found multiple people shot on the block, police said. Officers then began providing life-saving care, including tourniquets and chest seals, according to Chicago Police Area One Deputy Chief Don Jerome. 

A 9-year-old girl was shot in the head and died, according to police and her family, who identified her as Ariana Molina.

Ariana Molina, 9, was shot and killed in a mass shooting during a family gathering in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on April 13, 2024. Ten of her relatives were wounded in the shooting, including three other children. GoFundMe

A 1-year-old boy and a 7-year-old boy were each shot multiple times and were in critical condition Saturday night. A 9-year-old boy suffered a graze wound to his left pinky finger and was in good condition. Officials said the ages of the adult victims ranged from 19 to 40.

"This was not a random act of violence. It was likely gang-related," Jerome said. "The offenders' actions, make no mistake, are horrific and unacceptable in our city."  

A source said the children were playing outside when the shooting happened. Some adults were inside or on the porch at the time.

Mass shooting that left 1 dead, 10 injured is 9th mass shooting in Chicago area this year 01:57

A small vigil with balloons and candles formed at the site of the shooting on Monday morning, as mourners stopped by to grieve.

Mayor Brandon Johnson said the city also planned to hold a mass canvassing event in the area on Monday to provide neighbors with access to behavioral teams, victim services, and case management. The city also will provide support to Ariana's family through its Emergency Supplemental Victim's Fund.

Ariana's father, Jose Molina, said all 11 people who were shot were family members and were celebrating his sister's confirmation. Ariana was in the front yard when she was shot in the head. Her mother was shot in the back. His two nephews, ages 1 and 7, were improving and stabilized by Monday morning, but might require further surgery.

Ariana's mother does not know she died. 

"I know she's going to go crazy. She loves her," Jose said. "I don't even know what to tell her."

Girl killed, 10 relatives wounded in Chicago mass shooting 02:26

 Jose's nephews were both shot twice in the stomach. Jose was shot in the foot.  

"I got shot in my leg and my feet, but I'm ok. It just came in and out," he said. "I don't care about my leg. My daughter was too young for this."  

Police said a witness saw a black sedan drive up during the gathering. Someone inside fired multiple shots before driving off.

Ariana Molina, 9, was shot and killed in a mass shooting at a family gathering in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on April 13, 2024. Family photo

"When I saw my daughter on the floor, she had a bullet hole in her head. I try help her, but it was too late," Jose said.   

Jose says they've lived in the neighborhood for 30 years and have never had any problems.  

"She had nothing to with nothing of that. None of us are gang bangers. We don't gang bang. We've been here 30 years. We don't do none of that."  

He said he is hoping for justice soon. 

"Why would they do that s*** to little kids? They got a big life. Why would they do that to them?" he said. 

Girl killed, 10 other people wounded in Chicago mass shooting 01:51

Jose told CBS 2 they were in the process of moving out of the neighborhood because of recent shootings.  

Street pastor Donovan Price said the impact on the family has been devastating.

"I think a part of Chicago has died. Part of Chicago, like the mothers when I first got here, the families when I first got here tonight, should be screaming, should be running, should be crying. We all should," he said.

Some witnesses described two shooters on foot, police said. 

No one was in custody Sunday morning. Area One detectives were investigating.

Mayor Brandon Johnson released a statement on the incident Sunday afternoon, calling the shooting a "heinous and cowardly act of wanton violence": 

Today, we mourn the loss of an 8-year-old girl whose life was tragically taken from her by gang violence. This heinous and cowardly act of wanton violence that leaves our city mourning children is beyond reprehensible and has no place in our communities.

We are all allowed to be outraged today – a warm, spring day that I am sure this child would have been enjoying with family. I am praying for her loved ones and her community as they experience the unimaginable pain of losing a child. 

I am also praying for the recovery of the three children and seven adults who were injured in this horrific shooting. Our Mayor's Office of Community Safety has been in contact with the Chicago Police Department, which is committed to identifying and apprehending the individuals responsible. 

The Community Safety Coordination Center has developed an initial response plan, which, among other resources, will consist of: 

  • A mass canvassing event at 52nd and Damen and surrounding blocks on Monday, April 15, at 2 p.m. with the purpose of providing the community access to behavioral teams, victim services and case management 
  • Financial support for the family of the child who passed away via the Emergency Supplemental Victim's Fund program
  • Emergency Services Assistance Center, starting today, April 14
  • Victim services to other victims and families 
  • Increased 9th District CPD presence at impacted schools

As the CPD and our partners work through their investigation, the Back of the Yards community has the full support of our administration as they process and heal from this trauma.

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