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Man Charged With Killing 11-Year-Old Takiya Holmes

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A 19-year-old man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of 11-year-old Takiya Holmes over the weekend.

Antwan C. Jones was charged early Wednesday morning, according to Chicago Police News Affairs. A Cook County judge ordered him held without bond Wednesday afternoon. Prosecutors said Jones was shooting at rival gang members Saturday night, but ended up shooting Takiya.

Takiya was in a van with her mother and other relatives near 65th and King around 7:40 p.m. Saturday, when they stopped at her mother's workplace in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood, and bullets came flying through the window. A stray bullet struck Takiya in the head.

Takiya died Tuesday morning at Comer Children's Hospital.

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Takiya Holmes
Takiya Holmes (Family photo)

Area Central Detectives Cmdr. Brendan Deenihan said investigators reviewed surveillance camera video of the shooting to identify people who were at the scene, and bring them in for questioning. Deenihan said those people identified Jones as the shooter, and he turned himself in Tuesday night.

Deenihan said Jones lives in the Parkway Gardens housing complex, and told police he spotted some people "who he felt did not belong in the area" Saturday night, so he went to get a gun and shot at them, but hit Takiya instead, even though her family's van had been there less than a minute, and was nowhere near the intended targets.

"I don't know if people think this is TV where you can shoot someone in the leg, or shoot a handgun out of somebody's hand. These are handguns, and when the bullets start flying, they go everywhere. I mean, obviously, right? This is not a very accurate weapon," Deenihan said. "They weren't in the parking lot. They weren't close to where she was at, and then this still happens to this child."

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Jones has been "known to CPD for a long time," and has a lengthy arrest record, mostly as a juvenile.

Johnson said the criminals responsible for the city's increased gang violence have no fear of the judicial system, and he again called on state lawmakers to increase the penalties for repeat gun offenders, who often spend only a few months in jail when they're arrested for using a gun.

"They think the judicial system in Cook County is a joke. They just don't fear it, and until we create that mental accountability to them to not pick up a gun, we're going to continue to see this cycle of violence, and it's just silly. It is. It's silly on their part, but even more tragic is the leadership doesn't listen," Johnson said.

Since Saturday, three children 12 years old or younger have been shot; two are dead and one is on life support.

"How many more children do we have to lose?" Johnson said.

Police said community activist Andrew Holmes, a relative of Takiya's, helped arrange a meeting that helped connect detectives with witnesses to the shooting.

"What I did was basically set up a meeting with the Englewood Task Force and United For Peace – Mr. Gator Bradley – to let's reach out to the community over there in Parkway Gardens," Holmes said.

According to Holmes, people in the Parkway Gardens community "were totally upset with what was happening."

"We're starting a zero tolerance, and the only way we're going to stop this gun violence is bond with the Chicago Police Department, and not hide any individual, and let them know that we are going to put their face out there, we're going to put their name out there. That's what the community wanted, that's what the family wanted, and this is where we are today," he said.

Although a reward of up to $3,000 had been offered for information leading to Takiya's killer, Holmes said the reward was not a factor for those who came forward.

"It wasn't about the money. Even when Richard Dent called and put up $3,000, it wasn't about the money with him, it was just about bringing a person to justice, so people are looking past the money, and not worried about the money. It's just the life, and bridging the gap, and not pointing the finger at the Police Department, because one thing we need Chicago Police Department," Holmes said.

About 30 minutes before Takiya was shot on Saturday, 12-year-old girl was shot in the head in West Englewood.

Kanari Gentry-Bowers was playing basketball with friends at the corner of 57th and Winchester, around 7:15 p.m. Saturday when a car pulled up and someone inside started shooting. Kanari was shot in the neck.

Kanari remained on life support Tuesday at Stroger Hospital. Her family also was struggling with the decision of whether to pull her off life support.

Hours after Takiya died on Tuesday, 2-year-old Lavontay White was shot and killed while riding in the back seat of the car with his pregnant 20-year-old aunt and her 26-year-old boyfriend, who also were shot.

The woman was shot in the stomach, but her injuries were not considered life-threatening. Her boyfriend was shot several times, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

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