Though the war-zone that is Chicago has increasingly been riddled with bullet holes and dead bodies — including some as young as 6-year-old Aliyah Shell, the horrific murder of 7-year-old Heaven Sutton broke the dam of consciousness that has been seething with each new violent update from what has become the “Bloody” City.
The outcry was heard around the nation when little Heaven was shot in the back as gunfire rang out up the street from her mother’s candy stand and now reported gang-member Jerrell Dorsey, 26, has been charged with her murder and held without bond.
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Dorsey, of the 1600 block of North Laramie Avenue, was charged with first degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm and was ordered held with no bond by Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. in bond court Sunday, police said.
Dorsey was taken into custody about 11 p.m. Friday night by members of the Chicago police department’s fugitive apprehension unit and the U.S. Marshals fugitive task force as he tried to flee from the back of a building on the 5300 block of West Galewood Avenue, according to police.
He was identified by witnesses of the gang-related shooting that sparked frustration and outrage from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other city officials who’ve been trying to control an outbreak of street violence in recent months.
“Bringing Heaven’s shooter to justice will not bring her back, but I hope it will provide some level of solace to her family,” Emanuel said in an e-mailed statement, moments after police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced the arrest during a North Austin community meeting.
Heaven’s mother, Ashake Banks, said Saturday she was indeed relieved by news of the arrest.
“I feel a little better,” Banks said, standing outside her home on the 1700 block of North Luna Avenue. Nearby, the “candy shop” she had set up as a way to keep neighborhood children out of local gang crossfire was now a fold-out table with a “Stop the Violence” sign and a cookie jar collecting cash donations for Heaven’s funeral.
“Maybe I can get a little rest tonight,” Banks said. “It’s a start.”
The candy-stand has been converted to a donations station to help with Heaven’s funeral costs.
Wearing a t-shirt which read: “Love you, lil’ sis. Love, never forgotten,” Heaven’s big brother Diamante Demetrious, 12, sat with his head bent low in front of the funeral cookie jar and spoke of his baby sister:
“She used to make us all laugh,” he said softy.
As previously reported by NewsOne, though 144 Americans have died in Afghanistan in 2012, 228 Chicago residents have been killed. That number quadruples New York City’s rate and doubles Los Angeles’ rate. President Barack Obama has flown to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan to address the violence that continues to take the lives of global citizens, but there has been no statement from the White House on when — or if — he plans to address the war-zone in his own backyard.
Read more about Dorsey’s alleged gang affiliation and Heaven’s funeral plans at the Chicago Tribune.