NEW CITY — An argument over a boy turned deadly Monday when a 14-year-old girl fatally shot another 14-year-old in New City, family and police said.
The 14-year-old shooter has been charged with first-degree murder, police said. The alleged shooter's identity is being withheld because she's a minor.
A 17-year-old boy was later charged with helping the shooter hide the weapon, which was reported stolen on April 14, police announced. The shooter's uncle, 25-year-old Donnell Flora, was charged with giving his niece the gun and accompanying her to the fight.
On Monday afternoon, 14-year-old Endia Martin — a freshman cheerleader at Tilden Career Community Academy — was hanging out with her sister and friend when they got into a fight with the other 14-year-old girl, relatives said.
The girls had been feuding on Facebook, according to family.
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy on Tuesday wouldn't confirm that social media was a factor in the shooting — but he did say the fight was over a boy.
In court Tuesday afternoon, Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen Kain said the shooter had a gun when she confronted a group of people that included Endia outside a home in the 900 block of West Garfield Boulevard at about 4:30 p.m. Monday.
The girl tried to a fire the gun at the group, but it malfunctioned, Kain said. So she handed it to some people with her who were able to fix it, then took the gun back and opened fire, Kain said.
Endia was shot in her back as she ran away. She was taken to Comer Children's Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:10 p.m., authorities said. A second victim, 16, was grazed in her arm and treated at St. Bernard Hospital.
The 17-year-old boy is being treated as a juvenile in the case, after being charged with multiple offenses, most notably aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
The alleged shooter appeared in juvenile court Tuesday. Handcuffed and without any family members in court, the 14-year-old girl hung her head slightly as Kain detailed the case against her.
The girl quietly affirmed that she understood the potential sentences she is facing, including incarceration in the juvenile detention center until she turns 21.
Juvenile Court Judge Paul Katz ordered the girl held in custody. She was also charged with attempted murder and various gun charges.
When reached by phone Tuesday, a relative of the accused teen declined to comment.
A public defender representing the teen said in court that she was an honor roll student at John Hope College Prep High School in Englewood, where she played on the freshman basketball team and was part of a freshman leadership group.
McCarthy said the gun was stolen from a car in the South Chicago police district on April 14. The theft was reported to police.
"Fourteen-year-old lives were changed forever yesterday by the introduction of a gun into a fistfight," McCarthy said. "It could've been prevented."
Endia's family said they were told by witnesses that the shooter left the fight at one point, darting across Garfield. She quickly returned with several teenage and adult males — one of whom would later hand her the gun, witnesses said.
Endia "was a strong-headed, strong-minded child that wasn't going to be intimidated or bullied or pushed around," her stepfather Kent Kennedy said Tuesday. "She was always ... [standing up] for other people."
Kennedy, 44, said he "always used to tell [my kids]: Stay away from the fights because if they think you've got the best of 'em, the first thing they'll do is run and get other people. Nine times out of 10, someone in that crowd will have a gun.
"It's cold-blooded out here because don't nobody regard life," Kennedy added as he sat in his kitchen Tuesday morning in the 5300 block of South Wallace Street.
Endia's mom, 39-year-old Jonie Dukes-Kennedy, curled up on a nearby couch and cried quietly.
The couple said they're still trying to piece together exactly what happened — why the fight started and how it escalated. "Bits and parts" have been trickling in, but the area's "no snitch" code has been a problem, Kennedy said. Too few people are willing to talk.
"It's not snitching when someone dies," Kennedy said.
Relatives remembered Endia as outgoing and athletic. She was in ROTC at Tilden, 4747 S. Union Ave., and enjoyed cheerleading and volleyball. She spent her weekends Downtown and was into fashion and makeup trends.
"She changed her hair every two weeks, it seemed like," Kennedy said with a laugh. "And she always tried to dress me and her mom. She said our clothes were outdated."
Endia planned to enlist in the Navy after high school to offset "the financial burden of education," Kennedy said. The teen, who would've turned 15 in May, wanted to become a nurse like her mom and "see the world a bit" in the process.
Kennedy said he encouraged his daughters and son to leave Chicago after high school.
"Don't get me wrong, I love Chicago. But at times I think there's nothing here for minority teenagers," he said. "There's no outlets. There's no activities for them once they leave school. Where do they go?"
The father asked anyone with information to contact police.
"If you have a conscience, turn yourself in," he said.