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Gang Pot Dispute Cited in Slaying of 11-Year-Old Takiya Holmes

By  Erica Demarest and Sam Cholke | February 15, 2017 8:39am | Updated on February 15, 2017 1:52pm

 Antwan Jones, 19, has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 11-year-old Takiya Holmes. She was shot Saturday night and died Tuesday.
Antwan Jones, 19, has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 11-year-old Takiya Holmes. She was shot Saturday night and died Tuesday.
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Courtesty of Assata's Daughters, inset Courtesy of Chicago Police Department

LEIGHTON CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — The man accused of fatally shooting 11-year-old Takiya Holmes had been aiming at rival drug dealers he believed were selling marijuana on his turf, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Antwan Jones, 19, was denied bail following a brief bond hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, 2650 S. California Ave.

Takiya was sitting in her family's minivan next to her 3-year-old brother about 7:50 p.m. Saturday when a bullet sailed through the window and struck her in her right temple, Assistant State's Attorney Jamie Santini said during a bond hearing Wednesday.

RELATED: 'Everybody Loved' Takiya Holmes, 11-Year-Old Killed By Stray Bullet

Moments earlier, Jones and several Black Disciple gang members had walked through the Parkway Garden apartment complex to confront several people they believed were selling marijuana in an area the Black Disciples had claimed as their drug-selling territory near 65th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, prosecutors said.

Jones was armed with a loaded semi-automatic gun with an extended clip when he began firing toward the drug rivals in the 6500 block of South King Drive, according to Santini.

He failed to strike the rivals — but instead shot Takiya in her head as she sat with relatives inside her family's minivan outside a nearby dry cleaner, prosecutors said.

The girl was rushed to Comer Children's Hospital, where she fell into a coma and died Tuesday morning, officials said.

Police on the scene recovered 12 shell casings, prosecutors said. Jones can be seen walking through the Parkway Garden complex on surveillance footage moments before the shooting.

Police said Jones has been arrested 10 times before, including for several violent crimes. He was arrested seven times as a juvenile and three times as an adult, including a federal charge of aggravated assault.

Jones was convicted as a juvenile for theft in 2013 and sentenced to probation, which he violated five times, police said, adding that he also has been arrested for domestic battery and reckless conduct.

After court Wednesday, Takiya's cousin, local anti-violence activist Andrew Holmes, said the girl's organs were being donated so that "her life can live on with somebody else."

RELATED: Girls, Ages 11 and 12, Shot In Head In Separate Attacks Saturday

Takiya's family had urged people in the community to come forward with any information that could lead to an arrest. They held a vigil Tuesday night with officers from the Grand Crossing District.

Jones turned himself in to police late Tuesday night, officers said at a news conference Wednesday morning at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave.

“We encouraged [community members] to reach out to the Chicago Police Department and give the Chicago Police Department the information they need to make an arrest," Holmes said. "They were totally upset with what was happening over there."

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson credited that effort with Jones' surrender to police.

“Police officers very seldom witness a crime," Johnson said. "We need the community to help us, and this case they stepped up. If you see someone commit a crime like this in your community and you don’t say anything, what you’re doing is giving that person a pass, and you’re telling them, ‘Keep going.’”

Supporters of Holmes' family had offered a $3,000 reward for information that would lead to an arrest, but Holmes said it didn't make a difference in this case.

“Everyone we talked to, it wasn’t about the money, it was just about bringing a person to justice,” Holmes said. “Our message now is to help those who are behind him that are doing the same thing and to help them not do it.”

Police said there are no other people being sought in connection to the shooting death of Takiya. 

The gun Jones allegedly used in the shooting has not been found, police said.