Evanston mom recounts horror of shots being fired into yard, critically wounding daughter’s friend

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — They could not even reduce the cake.

A 14-year-old Evanston woman’s celebration was interrupted by gunfire – and one of her finest buddies was shot.

For the primary time, the mom of the birthday woman spoke out Wednesday. She hopes the neighborhood will rally round her daughter’s friend, Marie, who was shot within the neck and critically injured.

The mom, Tika, and her household are without end stained by the seemingly random taking pictures – and they’re additionally nonetheless in worry. The suspected gunman continues to be on the unfastened after gun violence actually confirmed as much as her household’s yard.

“I wouldn’t wish that experience on any human being,” mentioned Tika mentioned.

On Monday, July 25, for her 14-year-old daughter’s birthday, Tika remodeled her yard on the west aspect of Evanston into the occasion of the teenager woman’s desires.

“We just wanted a small gathering in the backyard – just a couple of kids,” Tika mentioned.

Just after 6 p.m., all that was left had been the ending touches.

“So put the lights up, ran upstairs to change my work shirt, and then the horror began,” Tika mentioned.

Not even 20 minutes in, Tika heard what she thought had been balloons popping. They weren’t balloons popping – they had been gunshots.

“Then immediately, I’m like, ‘No, this is not that!'” Tika mentioned. “I literally slid down the stairs.”

An unknown and uninvited visitor opened hearth over the fence in Tika ‘s yard – into the gang of 12 youngsters – and ran off. Tika rushed to get all the children away.

“There’s not one child you’re trying to grab,” Tika mentioned. “You’re trying to grab all of them to safety.”

But after getting all the children in the home, Tika mentioned, “Someone’s missing.”

It was her daughter’s finest friend, Marie. She had been shot within the neck.


Supplied to CBS 2

“Right now, she is fighting for her life,” Tika mentioned.

Two weeks later, Marie continues to be on life help.

Police mentioned the taking pictures was not random, however Marie was not the supposed goal. Why the shooter confirmed as much as the Tika’s household’s dwelling continues to be not clear.

“This is a 13-year-old girl who is not going to be going to school in a couple days,” Tika mentioned.

Marie’s household is from Rwanda. English is their second language.

Marie’s mom solely asks Tika for prayers.

“I can understand when she says, ‘Please pray for Marie,'” Tika mentioned. “I know that’s not all she needs, but that’s all she’s asking for.”

Tika is now calling for the neighborhood to rally round Marie and her household – as a bunch of Evanston teenagers at the moment are yet one more younger group of youngsters without end touched by gun violence.

“When people think about Marie and all of the kids, and that they’re praying for our community and they’re praying for our kids – because you could never fathom this could happen on your street; your block,” Tika mentioned.

Evanston police are nonetheless investigating, however there have been no suspects in custody Wednesday evening.

Tika is now advocating for Marie’s household, and has set up a GoFundMe to assist with medical bills. You can discover the GoFundMe at this hyperlink.

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