Authorities said Mellissa Ortega, an 8-year-old child, was killed after getting caught in the middle of an inter-gang shooting in Chicago on Saturday afternoon.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, several shots were fired into Melissa Ortega’s skull, per a police complaint. The shooting occurred around 2:55 p.m. on 26th Street, just next to Pulaski Road, as Ortega and her mother were trying to walk eastbound.
They were caught in the crossfire between both the unknown gunman and an associate of a gang and were shot at.
RIP Little Melissa Ortega, 8. Police said that “known offenders” had opened fire at a 26-year-old man who was walking out of a store and that Melissa was an innocent victim. https://t.co/CXKcW0oD27
— FOX 32 News (@fox32news) January 23, 2022
Gun Violence and Crime in Chicago
According to a GoFundMe fundraising campaign set up for the youngster, her mom was “eager to begin a new life in Chicago and develop their American Dream,” as discovered by findings and interviews.
As revealed by the story, after studying camera evidence of the shooting, investigators found the gunman dressed entirely in black accidentally shot Ortega.
The shooter’s intended victim was a 26-year-old man who was a criminal organization Gangster Two Six member.
For many years, Chicago, which has a population of approximately 2.7 million people, has struggled with a crime issue of its own.
According to CBS Chicago, four people were killed, and 23 others were injured, due to shootings over the weekend. Ortega was among those killed.
As a result of shootings that occurred over the previous weekend, five people were killed, and 33 others were critically injured.
Statement and Actions From the Authorities
Following Ortega’s tragic death, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Chicago School Board, and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown posted remarks on Twitter, expressing their sorrow for her passing.
According to both the police file and a release from the Chicago Police Department, Ortega was taken to Stroger Hospital and confirmed dead less than two hours after the incident.
Mayor Lightfoot said she hopes Chicago Police detectives — “literally working 24/7” — will soon make an arrest.
“I can’t get into a lot of details. But I can tell you … that there are some promising leads." https://t.co/gm7TqzirJm
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) January 24, 2022
According to the Chicago Police Department, the gang member who was the original target had previously been detained 13 times. This individual likewise had two criminal convictions.
The victim, meanwhile, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition.
In their respective statements, Lightfoot and Brown have claimed there is a $10,000 prize for tips that result in an arrest, along with an incentive of up to $15,000 for information that leads to an arrest.
In December, Lightfoot asked for extra federal funds from the Justice Department in an effort to crack down on unauthorized firearms in the city. The Justice Department responded positively.
The people of Chicago and neighboring states are now on the lookout for the criminal. Hopefully, the suspect is tracked down as soon as possible, as such a callous criminal should not be walking free among us.
The Chicago Police Department did not respond to a request for a statement after it was sent to them.