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2 Girls, 11 and 12, remain in critical condition after separate shootings

By Jessica D’Onofrio,

Two girls remain hospitalized Monday as Chicago police hunt for the gunmen who put them there.

The girls, ages 11 and 12, were hurt in separate shootings about 30 minutes apart Saturday night police said and each is in critical condition.

Takiya Holmes, 11, is on life support at Comer Children’s Hospital.

Every 12 hours, the doctors at Comer Children’s Hospital scan Takiya’s brain for any activity.

“Today may be the day where they say there’s none, but Takiya’s one of those people that would pull out something last minute,” said Rachel Williams, said Takiya’s cousin.

On Saturday, Holmes was sitting in the backseat of a minivan with her mom and little brother in the 6300-block of South King Drive in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood at about 7:40 p.m. when she was hit by a bullet in the head, police said.

Takiya is a member of Assata’s Daughters, a Chicago-based group providing programming for young black girls. The organization is now raising funds for her family.

“They’re surviving being here and we have to offset the cost for medical expenses, housing,” Williams said.

Takiya has had a steady stream of visitors, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who visited Sunday night.

Police said she was not the intended target in the shooting. Takiya is a relative of community activist Andrew Holmes.

Meanwhile, a second innocent child was also critically wounded in a separate shooting Saturday.

Kanari Gentry-Bowers, 12, was shot in the head in the 1900-block of West 57th Street in the West Englewood neighborhood at around 7:15 p.m. Saturday. She was transported to Stroger Hospital in critical condition.

The Henderson Elementary School student was playing in the school’s playground when she was shot.

“She was just playing basketball outside and I guess a car came up and got to shooting and shot her in the back of her head. She’s fighting right. To be 12-years old, she’s fighting,” said Rochetta Tyler, Kanari’s cousin.

Monday morning, parents prayed for her and for safety in the area, which according to police, has recently become a hotbed of gang activity.

“My initial reaction was grief. Following that was shock and then just a bit of disappointment that this is yet happening on school grounds. A school that’s monitored very closely by their principal, but I do understand it happened during non-school hours,” said Kilo Patria Sims, a Henderson Elementary school parent.

“Just prayer for our kids, prayer for the community, prayer for the family,” said Latasha McNutt, Henderson Elementary School parent.

Police in both cases are canvassing the neighborhoods for private video and they are reviewing pod cameras for possible clues, but so far no one is in custody. Both families are pleading for the shooters to turn themselves in.

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