Police: 11-year-old girl shot in the chest in Rockford gang shooting

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — An 11-year-old girl was inside her home on Hancock Street Tuesday morning when a gunman opened fire on her home, striking her in the chest.

The shooting happened just after midnight. Two homes on Hancock Street were hit.

The girl is expected to be okay, and no one else was hurt.

Rockford Police say the shooter was likely targeting someone else inside the house.

Neighbor Heather Jarman recalled, “I woke up and started running through the house, and my husband is like, ‘Get down!'”

Jarman was awoken by the sounds of gunshots.

Police say a known gang member lives in the house, but the only person injured was 11-year-old Gracie.

Lt. Kurt Whisenand said the bullets “go in a straight line, into a house, through the walls, through the windows, and anybody in their way can be hit. Any time a gun is fired, bullets don’t discriminate. They don’t differentiate between children and adults, or the intended target and innocent family members.”

The back of the house was riddled with bullet holes.

“I heard, like, 50 gunshots going off and it happened in our backyard,” Jarman said. “Their whole back of their house is shot up. That’s just heartless. I mean, it was just so close. My mother-in-law’s room is in the back. She could have got hit. My kids woke up, frantic, like, [they] could have got hit.”

Police say that many times, the motive behind shootings such as this one is one gang tries to intimidate a rival gang, and scare people into not providing information to investigators.

Police say when residents keep quiet, that only helps the criminals.

“The sooner we can get the people responsible off the street, and the more of those people we can get off the street, the less this will happen,” Whisenand said. “So, unfortunately, it’s kind of counter-productive for people to be less cooperative when things like this happen, because it just feeds into the whole environment and the whole subculture of the gang, in using violence as a weapon.”

Police say gang activity isn’t common in the Edgewater neighborhood, but having just one person in the house or on the block puts everyone’s safety at risk, because violence goes hand in hand with gangs.

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