A 14-year-old girl, angry about a Facebook feud over a boy, fired a gun at a porch filled with people, had it malfunction, but after someone nearby cleared it, fired again, killing one teen girl and wounding another, prosecutors alleged Tuesday.
A Cook County judge ordered the girl to remain in custody after prosecutors argued she was a danger to herself and others. She is charged as a juvenile in the death Monday afternoon of 14-year-old Endia Martin, police said.
Late Tuesday, police said a 17-year-old boy had also been charged in connection with the shooting for allegedly hiding the murder weapon. He is charged with felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, as well as two counts of felony unlawful use of a weapon and a misdemeanor reckless damage charge. Police are not releasing the name of the teen because he’s charged as a juvenile.
The alleged shooter is a freshman at John Hope College Prep, 5515 S. Lowe, where she is on the basketball team and is involved in freshman leadership, her attorney, a public defender, said. The teen showed little emotion during the hearing and muttered her responses to the judge. No family appeared for her in court.
Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Kain said the teen should be held in custody because of the “extremely horrific” nature of the event and because it was clearly premeditated since the gun jammed, was cleared, and the teen allegedly then fired again.
Police said that an uncle of the teen shooter and another individual have been arrested in connection with the gun that the girl allegedly used in the shooting, police said.
At Hope College Prep, where the suspected teen went to school, Chicago police officers, school security and Chicago Public Schools guards kept watch as kids left the building on Tuesday afternoon.
A sergeant on scene said there were “a little bit more (police) than normal,” but would provide no details.
“We got to be a little bit proactive,” he said.
Damian Lindsey, 16, said the suspected shooter “was quiet.” And she got good grades. “She had a temper problem,” he said before rushing to catch a bus.
Keshawnda Green,18, said of the alleged shooter: “She was a nice person. She didn’t mean to do it.”
Precey Gatlin, 18 said of the teen: “She was cool, a chill type of person. … It’s crazy. I never thought she’d be like that.”
One student said many of the suspected shooter’s friends were not in school Tuesday.
Some parents were shocked to hear the shooter went to this school.
“Oh my God. The girl went to this school,” one mom said.
One grandmother picking up her 17-year-old grandson lamented the situation.
“There’s a lot of violence in this neighborhood,” said Earnestine Fizer, 65.
“It worries me a lot. I fear for his life,” she said of her grandson.
“It has to be horrible for the children because it’s horrible for the grandparents and parents,” Fizer said.
Jeremy MCcregg said his 16-year-old niece called and asked for a ride home.
“There’s been a lot of rumors about what’s going to happen,” the 34-year-old said. “I’m not going to take any chances.”
Earlier in the day, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, clearly frustrated, said Tuesday at a news conference that tougher gun laws could have prevented the slaying.
“What would have been, under any other circumstances, probably a fistfight between two 14-year-old girls because of an argument over a boy turned into a murder,” he said.
The gun used in the shooting, a legal .38-caliber revolver, was kept in the owner’s car but was reported stolen April 14, McCarthy said. Police departments don’t let officers store their guns in their cars, but under the state’s concealed-carry law, individuals who are properly permitted can.
“That’s insanity. This is madness, folks. This is madness,” he said.
Another teenage girl was shot in the arm and was taken to St. Bernard’s Hospital and Healthcare Center, authorities said.
“I’m very frustrated. I’m sickened. Three 14-year-old lives were changed forever yesterday with an introduction of a gun into a fistfight,” McCarthy said.
Endia was shot in the back about 4:30 p.m. Monday in the 900 block of West Garfield Boulevard, police said. A group of teenagers was standing on the sidewalk when a fight broke out, and someone in the group pulled out a gun and started shooting, police said.
Endia, of the 5300 block of South Wallace, was taken to University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital, where she died at 5:10 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. Endia’s stepfather, Kent Kennedy, said the girl wanted to visit Paris and Rome and join the Navy or go to college.
Kennedy struggled to make sense of the violence.
“I’d still like to know what was the purpose of getting a gun and shooting,” he said Monday night.
“My daughter didn’t roam the streets at night,” said Kennedy, who works a number of jobs at Central Steel and Wire. “We were too strict. We had a strict curfew. She didn’t gang-bang. She never was in trouble with police.”
Kennedy said Endia had recently transferred to Tilden High School from Chicago Vocational High School because he and his wife worried that her commute — two buses and a train — might not be safe.
Kennedy, a former Marine who raised Endia from the time she was 6, said she had big dreams.
“She wanted to do some traveling. I told her the Navy was a perfect fit. She always was talking about how she wanted to go to Paris and places like Italy,” Kennedy said. “And she loved to get dressed up and change her hair all different ways. And she had these footwork dance contests on the block or at her school.”
Kennedy and his wife, who works as a certified nursing assistant at a nursing home, were distraught Monday night.
“Me and my wife, we work constantly, every day raising three kids . . . And I hate to say it, but the good kids, the standout children who are trying to go to school and do something with their lives, they’re the ones who are actually dying in the streets. The ones who want to accomplish something in life,” he said. “It’s not a South Side thing or a West Side thing, it’s the city as a whole. It seems like you can’t walk down the street or even ride the bus any more.”
“Never would I imagine a 14-year-old child would get gunned down in broad daylight,” Kennedy said.
“She will never graduate from high school or get to go to prom, none of that. She was mapping out a plan with her life,” said Kennedy, who wondered if he was sometimes too hard on his daughter.
“She had a kind heart, but she was kind of naive. People used to say I was too strict, too hard, because I would limit where she was going, or that we worried too much. She was too innocent. Too young to go. It’s a feeling that you can’t describe.”
Contributing: LeeAnn Shelton, Stefano Esposito