clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Girl, 11, shot in head the night before her birthday

The girl’s grandfather was outside on the porch when a gunman sent bullets through the home’s front window and aluminum siding.

Kentayvia Blackful
Kentayvia Blackful

An 11-year-old girl was working at a computer, designing the T-shirt she planned to wear to her birthday party, when a gunman fired indiscriminately Monday at her family’s home in Harvey.

On Tuesday, instead of celebrating her 12th birthday, Kentayvia Blackful was fighting for her life at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. She was in critical condition with a gunshot wound to her head.

“The girl’s family heard the shots and yelled ‘Get down!’ When it was over they saw she was bleeding,” said anti-violence activist Andrew Holmes, whose been in touch with Blackful’s family.

Kentayvia’s grandfather was outside on the porch when the gunman sent bullets through the home’s front window and aluminum siding, said a source familiar with the incident.

“She was supposed to have this party and play in a basketball game today,” Holmes said.

Holmes and one other donor have offered a $3,500 reward for information that leads to the shooter, he said Tuesday.

The shooting happened about 9 p.m. near the intersection of 158th and Paulina streets, according to Harvey Police Chief Eddie Winters. He said no one was in custody.

The home in south suburban Harvey where an 11-year-old girl was shot in the head Monday.
Mitch Dudek / Sun-Times

Kentayvia is a student at Brooks Middle School.

Harvey Public Schools District 152 sent a note to teachers and families about the shooting, offering crisis team to support students and staff.

“Our thoughts are with her family and the greater Harvey School District 152 community,” Supt. John Thomas wrote. “The safety and well-being of our students remains a top priority and the Harvey School District 152 staff is working together to ensure we are providing the appropriate support for our students.”

A bullet hole in a window at the Harvey home where an 11-year-old girl was critically wounded Sept. 23, 2019.
The 11-year-old girl was inside the home when someone outside began firing a gun.
Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

Read more on crime, and track the city’s homicides.