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Girl, 16, wounded by stray bullets calls on shooter to turn himself in

The family says they’ve identified the shooter to police, but nearly two weeks later, he’s still on the run.

Brandie Clark and her daughter, Deija Nesbitt.
Brandie Clark and her daughter, Deija Nesbitt.
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Deija Nesbitt heard the rear window of the car she was sitting in shatter, but never felt the bullets.

It wasn’t until she looked down and saw the blood on her chest and the panicked reactions of those around her that she realized she had been shot.

The shooting happened on Father’s Day, at a block party 16-year-old Deija’s family throws each year at her uncle’s home in the 1100 of West 110th Place.

The cause: a dispute over a parking space, Deija’s mother, Brandie Clark, said.

Clark said she knows who the shooter is and has identified him to police. But nearly two weeks later, he has not been taken into custody.

A Chicago police spokesman said Friday the man has been identified and is the subject of an investigative alert, but has not yet been located by authorities. The Chicago Sun-Times isn’t naming him because he has not been officially charged.

Clark was a witness to the shooting, which she said happened when the man — a friend of a family friend who had been invited to the party — parked in a disabled parking spot in front of her brother’s neighbor’s home.

“She’s 97,” Clark said of the neighbor. “My brother told him he needed to move it.”

The man, Clark said, began to argue and said he would move it when he felt like moving it.

When Clark’s mother got involved and told him to move his car, he swatted her hand away, leading Clark’s brother to punch the man in the face.

Clark said the man had been over to the home before and his actions were out of character. But what came next was a complete surprise.

Clark said he went to his car, got a gun and began firing at her brother, who ran. As the man continued to fire, Deija, who was sitting in a car out front, turned her head to look at where the shots were coming from. That’s when the window burst and she was struck twice in the face.

“He almost destroyed my daughter’s and my family’s life over some foolishness,” Clark said.

Deija was in the hospital for five days, and a bullet fragment remains lodged in her cheek. Another bullet, which entered above her jaw, fractured a vertebra in her spine and is too dangerous to remove.

Deija said she’s feeling better, though uncomfortable in the neck brace she’ll be wearing until her fracture heals. Mostly, she said, she’s concerned about being able to get back onto the basketball court. She hopes to move to Los Angeles someday and open her own restaurant.

“He should turn himself in,” Deija said. “I do hope he faces charges.”

Clark said she wants to make sure police are doing everything they can to take the alleged shooter into custody and thinks his friends or relatives are protecting him. If he doesn’t turn himself in, they should do it for him, Clark said.

“He wouldn’t have wanted this for his own child,” Clark said. “It’s time for him to take responsibility.”