A young girl has been shot dead shot while riding her scooter because she and other children were “too loud”, neighbours said.
Witnesses said Michael Goodman, 43, shot nine-year-old Serabi Medina in the head because he was upset over noise at their Chicago apartment building.
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Serabi’s father then tackled the gunman, who was himself shot during the struggle and was taken to hospital before being charged.
Neighbours said Serabi and her father had moved to the Portage Park neighbourhood two years ago, after her mother had been murdered in 2018.
Goodman appeared in court on Monday charged with first-degree murder over the fatal shooting on Saturday, police said.
“It just didn’t make sense. None of it made sense,” neighbour Megan Kelley told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Everybody in the community would just tell him they are just kids having fun playing. Just let them be.
“Before he shot her, he had said something about them being too loud.”
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Serabi Medina, 9, was shot dead while riding her scooter. Credit: NBC
Another neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, told NBC Chicago he saw the girl riding her scooter moments before the shooting happened about 9.20pm.
“I had seen people yelling, and the father was in the street yelling — it was, it was just chaos,” the neighbour said.
Community activist and crisis responder Andrew Holmes said: “(The father) ran all the way over there, football tackled this guy and that weapon discharged.”
Witnesses said Michael Goodman, 43, shot Serabi because he was upset over noise at their Chicago apartment building. Credit: NBCA shrine has grown outside the family’s home, and a Monday night vigil was held in Serabi’s honour. Credit: NBC
Relative Hector Villafuerte said: “I used to look at (Serabi) and think, man, she lost her mum, but she is still full of life, laughing and having fun.”
Family members said Serabi was a typical nine-year-old who loved riding her scooter, making bracelets and finding new friends.
“How dare you, you cannot just take anyone’s life … a child,” second-cousin Angee Gonzalez Rodriguez said.
“What did that child do to you? I hope he gets what he deserves. I hope he gets the book thrown at him.”
A shrine of stuffed animals and sunflowers are being placed at the base of a tree near the shooting scene, in memory of Serabi who was about to enter the fourth grade at Peter A. Reinberg Elementary School.
“With great sadness, we are devastated at the loss of another young life,” Chicago Public Schools said.
– With AP
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