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Prosecutors: Gunman saw children before opening fire, killing 6-year-old

Juan Barraza. Photo courtesy of Chicago Police Dept.

A teenage boy allegedly looking to kill a member of a rival street gang instead fatally shot a 6-year-old girl on her Little Village porch Saturday afternoon on the Southwest Side, prosecutors said Monday.

Luis Hernandez, 16, pointed a handgun out the passenger’s side window of a gray pickup truck and opened fire at the 6-year-old girl, her 2-year-old sister, their mother and her boyfriend as they were on the front porch of their home in the 3100 block of South Springfield Avenue about 3:35 p.m. Saturday, according to court documents filed by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

The older girl, Aliyah Shell, was struck multiple times and was declared dead about two hours later at Mount Sinai Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Hernandez told detectives he is a member of the Latin Kings street gang and was trying to kill a member of the rival Two-Six street gang, according to court documents. When the pickup truck approached, Hernandez allegedly yelled “TSK,” slang for Two-Six Killer, and asked, “What’s up, b—-?” before opening fire on the group despite seeing the two children on the porch.

The driver of the truck, 18-year-old Juan Barraza, drove away and parked the pickup on Millard Avenue, court documents allege. Responding officers saw the men running and gave chase, during which time Hernandez allegedly threw a weapon that was recovered by police.

Hernandez and Barraza were each charged as adults with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm, authorities said. Hernandez was also wanted for violating his parole from a previous conviction.

Hernandez, of the 5000 block of South Paulina Street, was denied bond, according to court documents. Barraza, of the 2800 block of South Christiana Avenue, was ordered held on $2 million bond. Both men are scheduled to be back in court April 6.

Aliyah was sitting on one stair and her mother was sitting on the step above untangling the little girl’s hair when gunfire erupted, the state’s attorney’s office said.

“She was a happy child,” said her uncle Roy Aguilar. “When everybody was sad, she was always happy, with a smile on her face no matter what.”

Another neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said Aliyah attended nearby Gary Elementary School and only went outside with her mother.

“The little girl was beautiful,” the neighbor said. “The family has been there 20 years or more. They were a very close family.”

Neighbor Rey Navarro said the block is generally quiet, except for the occasional fight, and it was the first shooting he can remember in his 30 years at his residence.