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Melissa Ortega, 8-Year-Old Girl Killed In Little Village Shooting, Had Just Emigrated From Mexico

CHICAGO (CBS) -- They sought the American dream but were dealt the all-too-common hand of American violence instead. That's how the family of Melissa Ortega describes the shooting death of the 8-year-old in Little Village Saturday.

She and her mother had emigrated from Mexico in August.

"This is an 8-year-old Latina who could've been someone," said activist Keith Thornton. "She came from Mexico to have a better life."

City leaders are demanding change after Melissa was shot and killed while walking with her mom in Little Village Sunday. She was struck by a bullet police say was intended for someone else.

Police have no one in custody, but Supt. David Brown tweeted that the Chicago Police Department will not rest until the perpetrators are brought to justice.

Now in a growing memorial, flowers candles and balloons are left at the corner of 26th and Pulaski where Melissa where shot.

A family member told CBS 2's Jackie Kostek that Melissa's mother is just not ready to talk about her daughter yet. That family member did say that she hopes no one ever has to go through what she is right now.

The family of Melissa walked into the medical examiner's office Sunday to identify the body of the 8-year-old.

"I heard the mother screaming for help," said Oscar Guevara, a Little Village resident.

Guevara was in the middle of 26th Street when he heard six to seven shots ring out. He found Melissa on the ground and called 911.

"I had [a] cover, and we put it over her to keep her warm. But there was really nothing we could do," he said.

Guevara said the young girl had already lost a lot of blood but was still alive.

"She tried to get up at one point, and that was the hardest part to see. She tried to get up and she like looked around and she laid back down," he said.

Police arrived first, Guevara said, then an ambulance to take the third grader to Stroger Hospital.

The family released a statement Sunday, describing Melissa as a girl who wanted to experience Chicago snow, get to make her own stuffed animal at Build-a-Bear and make TikTok dances with her friends.

Guevara said the shooting, which took his brother, too, has got to stop.

"Innocent people just walking and enjoying their day and tragedy hits them in one second," he said

Police do not have anyone in custody but continue to investigate.

CBS 2 is told the other victim in this shooting a 26-year-old man remains in critical condition.

A GoFundMe posted Saturday night to raise money for Melissa's mother to take her back to Mexico for her funeral already has raised more than $25,000.

The other victim in this shooting, a 26-year-old, remains in critical condition. Brown says if you have any information at all you're asked to call police or send a tip to There is a $15,000 reward for an eligible tip.

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