Chrisyah Stephens Indiana 7 year old girl shot dead in drive by shooting while attending South Bend birthday party in front yard. Home owner targeted.
A 7-year-old Indiana girl was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting while attending a relative’s birthday party on Saturday, according to reports.
Chrisyah Stephens was one of between 60 and 70 guests at a birthday party that was taking place just outside of a home on the 800 block of East Donald Street in South Bend.
The shooting occurred Saturday around 7:40pm when multiple shots were fired from a vehicle driving by the home.
‘We were standing right here,’ Chrisyah’s uncle, SlyLavecchio Hines told the South Bend Tribune.
Hines was pointing to an area near the front stoop of the house.
‘I would say about 20 seconds after we came outside, we hear gunshots, “Pow, pow, pow”.’
Chrisyah and the other children attending the party had just finished breaking open a pinata and were getting ready to get ice cream and cake when gunshots were fired.
She was seriously injured and later died at an area hospital, police told WNDU-TV.
Although several people were standing in front of the home, she was the only shooting victim, according to authorities.
An autopsy was scheduled to be conducted on Monday morning in Fort Wayne.
The St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit has taken over the investigation.
Hines said that when he heard the gunshots, he ran to Chrisyah.
Chrisyah Stephen’s father with heartbreaking reaction on his daughter being shot and killed Saturday night: pic.twitter.com/7BuE715V3a
— Ibrahim Samra WNDU (@ISamraWNDU) August 31, 2020
‘My daughter was at an innocent birthday party … and it will be her last birthday party’
‘I ran and I was trying to grab her, to block her from the bullets,’ Hines said on Sunday.
‘But it was too late. As soon as I grabbed her, her body got heavy. I laid her down, I called her name, and then I seen the blood.’
Chrisyah’s killing has left the family ‘hurt and heartbroken,’ Hines said.
He told the Tribune that the shooter fired from a white car, possibly a Chevy Malibu.
Hines said it appeared the car had tinted windows and black wheels.
He said he heard three shots fired from the car as it was approaching Donald Street from the south and three more shots after it crossed Donald.
The car then drove away.
Hines could not say how many people were in the car, though he is certain the shots were fired from the passenger-side window.
He said it was unclear if the shooter was a driver or a passenger.
Hines believes that the shooter fired directly at the house.
‘I think they was targeting us,’ Hines said.
When asked why anyone would want to target them, Hines responded that he did not know.
America decoupling at the seams- a tale of two divides
The fatal shooting is the latest in a series of gun violence episodes that have claimed the lives of young children nationwide as the country has experienced an alarming surge in violent crime in recent months.
A recent Wall Street Journal described homicides being up 24 per cent in the nation’s 50 largest cities, with shootings and gun violence rising. Cities long plagued by violent crime saw their figures increase, including Philadelphia, Detroit, Memphis, and Chicago.
The escalation in gun violence follows deteriorating economic & social fortunes for many Americans despite the financial indexes decoupling and recording record heights despite deep recession engulfing the United States. The economic stagnation mirrors the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which to date has claimed over 187K lives and threatens to set off in a possible second wave leading into the fall as a polarized nation continues to struggle to manage the health crises.