Fearful of the gun violence that’s long plagued her native South Side, Kimfier Miles was careful in how she moved around the city.
But this weekend, the mother of three decided to enjoy a night out with some girlfriends, her cousin Takita Miles told the Sun-Times.
The group headed to a bustling business district on 75th Street that includes shops and well-known restaurants, including Brown Sugar Bakery, which was visited earlier this year by Vice President Kamala Harris.
A week earlier, she heard another gathering along the strip in Chatham had remained peaceful, so Kimfier Miles and her friends felt safe, her cousin said.
“Everyone was confident that it was chill last week, and maybe we can go out and kick it this time. And maybe this is the summer that we can really chill,” Takita Miles said. “But it wasn’t like that.”
Instead, Miles and nine others were wounded when two males opened fire on a group of people about 2 a.m. in the 7500 block of South Prairie, Chicago police have said.
Struck in her leg and abdomen, Miles was rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center and pronounced dead, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The others were listed in good to fair condition.
“She was only 29; in the prime of her life,” Takita Miles said. “She hasn’t even experienced life. She just started traveling. It’s unfortunate. It’s really bad.”
A graduate of Kenwood Academy High School, Kimfier Miles was regarded as a social butterfly. She had recently started work at a security firm, but hoped to one day open her own clothing boutique, Takita Miles said.
Her cousin’s three young daughters were always dressed to the nines and their hair neatly styled, she added.
“Most of the time when something like this happens, they always want to portray the victim as this awful person,” Takita Miles said. “But she wasn’t like that. She was humble, her laugh was contagious, she was goofy and she just loved hanging out with her family.”
Miles’ mother has started an online fundraiser seeking $10,000 to cover her funeral expenses. Meanwhile, her family is still searching for answers about her killing.
Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said he had learned police had obtained video surveillance footage “that seems to have good potential identification of the offenders.”
Takita Miles said she’s concerned her cousin’s killing may result in another “cold case file.”
A spokesman for police declined to provide additional information, but said no arrests had been made as of Sunday evening.
Miles’ cousin said was was also upset that Saturday’s mass shooting hasn’t received the same national attention as attacks elsewhere.
“Our African American community is getting the short end of the stick of everything,” she said. “When it comes to catching serial killers and suspects and mass shooters, we’re definitely treated differently.”
What’s more, she said it feels like the “senseless acts of violence” in Chicago have been “normalized now, like it’s nothing.”