Ministers Urge People to Turn in Gunman Who Killed Girl, 7

CBS Chicago, June 29, 2012

One day after a 7-year-old girl was gunned down as her mother watched while she sold lemonade in front of her West Side home, a ministers’ group is trying to persuade people to turn over the killer.

“It’s a sad day in Chicago,” said the Rev. Ira Acree of the Leaders Network ministry, which put up the $3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gunman who killed Heaven Sutton, 7, while she was with her mother and other family members outside of their home in the 1700 block of North Luna Avenue in the North Austin neighborhood.

Acree was no less indignant than Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who said to the unknown killer Thursday, “How dare you?”

“She’s an innocent seven-year-old,” Acree said, saying the girl had to try to dodge bullets as if she were in Afghanistan or the Wild West of the 1800s. “It’s horrific.”

Acree said the shooting had struck a nerve, and he said he hopes that someone who knows comes forward with the information without being prompted by the cash.

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Heaven had told her mother, Ashake Banks, 38, that she wanted to move out of North Austin—which the family had called home for six months—because of all the violence in the area.

She had just gotten her hair done for a trip to Disney World that had been planned for next month, and was outside with her mother as they sold lemonade, candy and snacks under a canopy set up in front of their home. Two men opened fire around 10:40 p.m. Wednesday, and Heaven was struck in the chest.

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The fatal gunshot was fired by a gangbanger who was aiming at a rival who apparently had stopped to buy lemonade.

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Heaven Sutton and her mother.

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