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7-year-old girl, Heaven, shot dead in Chicago

NBC Chicago

Heaven Sutton, 7, left, was fatally shot in Chicago's North Austin neighborhood.

A 7-year-old girl was fatally shot in the back Wednesday outside of her family’s home in Chicago.

The girl, identified as Heaven Sutton, was selling candy with her mother and playing with friends around 10:45 p.m. in the city’s North Austin neighborhood when someone opened fire down the street, NBCChicago.com reported.

The girl’s mother, Ashake Banks, said she threw herself on the ground while her daughter ran into her family’s home. Moments later, Banks said she found her daughter unconscious inside a hallway.

“There were two guys,” Heaven’s brother, Malik Ellis told NBCChicago.com. “I saw one come out of the gangway. He walked into the middle of the street and started shooting.”

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Heaven was rushed to an area hospital. She was pronounced dead there at 11:16 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

“I’m lost for words. That was my pride and joy,” Banks told the Chicago Tribune.

Banks said the soon-to-be second grader told her on several occasions she wanted her family to move out of the violent neighborhood. She said her daughter was a sweet, smart girl.

Heaven is the 20th person under the age of 17 to be killed by gunfire in Chicago this year, reported the Chicago Tribune.

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Banks said she opened a candy stand on her block two weeks ago to keep kids close to their homes and away from gang crossfire.

“I opened up the candy store for the kids so they wouldn't have to be pulled back and forth on the block because there’s been so much shooting,” Banks told the Chicago Tribune. “I figured they (gang members) know us, they wouldn’t come to the neighborhood and start shooting, but they really didn’t even care.”

Banks said she believes the shooting is gang-related and Heaven was an unintended target.

A 19-year-old man also was shot in the ankle and is listed in good condition at Loyola University Medical Center, NBCChicago.com reported.

Chicago police are searching for two men seen fleeing the shooting. No arrests have been made.

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