A nine-year-old girl, Serabi Medina, from Chicago, was shot in broad daylight by a neighbor that reportedly targeted her. The girl had just bought her father ice cream when her life was taken before his eyes.
Serabi Medina, a nine-year-old girl from Chicago, loved to be outdoors, riding her scooter and spending time with her two dogs. But another favorite person of hers was her father, Michael Medina.
The father and daughter enjoyed a nice Saturday afternoon, with Serabi riding her scooter and buying treats from the ice cream truck.
Her father looked at her cross-over to get them ice cream, but as she walked back, he was faced with a tragedy no parent would want to face.
What Actually Happened That Day
As Serabi walked back holding two ice creams, her father was talking to a few of his friends until they heard a gunshot. Michael looked over to his daughter and urged her to get back inside.
According to reports, their neighbor had fired the shots, walked straight toward Serabi, and shot her in the head. The little girl was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Michael saw the alleged perpetrator, Michael Goodman, 43, walk across the street and straight to his daughter. He shouted, asking him what he was doing. The scared father ran towards Goodman, trying to stop him, but that was when he held the firearm in the air and aimed it at his daughter.
Serabi’s father tackled Goodman, and he ended up getting shot in the eye. The tradegy was witnessed by Michael’s father and his friends. One of them, Rene Aquino, recalled little Serabi excitedly walking towards her father saying, “Here Daddy, I got you an ice cream.'”
A few reporters said the 43-year-old seemed annoyed by the noise when he came out. Witnesses also revealed that he came out wearing what looked like headphones, only for police to find out that it was earmuffs worn at a shooting range.
Goodman was arrested and held in Portage Park without bail. He appeared in court on Tuesday, where he was charged with first-degree murder for shooting Serabi on August 5, 2023. The gun violence in their neighborhood angered Aquino and the rest of the community members.
After Goodman’s hearing, Aquino did not hide how he felt and what he wished for the perpetrator. “It’s one step closer that we know he’s been charged, but it’s not good enough. I wish this individual rots in hell, where he deserves to be with his maker,” he expressed.
Unfortunately, this was not the first person in the family that has been a victim of gun violence. Serabi’s mother was also shot and killed in Chicago while sitting in the neighborhood.
Her death left Michael to be a single father, and both he and Serabi became each other’s shoulder to lean on. Serabi’s cousin said, “She was her dad’s shadow, and he was her rock, raising her and getting her through not having her mother.”
The incident left the witnesses wishing they could have done something to help the little girl. Aquino confessed that he was a disabled man with one leg, but had he had both legs; he would have done anything to save the little girl’s life.
Community Members Pay Tribute to the Little Girl.
For a nine-year-old girl to be cold-bloodedly killed in the middle of the day left many community members angry and shocked.
Ruth Cruz, a city council member of Chicago’s 30th Ward, said Serabi’s death was not only mourned by her family but by the entire community. “…The city and even the nation mourns a little girl, only nine years old, who deserved a chance at life,” she said.
Cruz said she received a high number of letters from people offering to help the Medina family with the funeral and sending words of encouragement. She also pledged to bring government elected officials to speak to the community and help end these violent attacks.
Even more saddening for the community was watching Michael plan for a funeral instead of preparing his daughter for the new school year. The family has set up a GoFundMe and wrote, “She was only nine years old; she had her whole life ahead of her.”
Serabi might have been young, but her smile stuck with many who knew her. Her cousin said she had a smile that would light up Chicago, and her neighbor Destiny Hill said, “She was sweet; she would just ride her scooter up and down the sidewalk smiling.”
Many more people left stuffed animals on her street as a way to pay tribute. On Monday evening, her family and friends were joined by more people to release purple balloons in her memory.
A family friend, Megan Kelley, gushed over how funny Serabi was and how much she will remember her big personality. But Kelley emphasized that things needed to change. “She was a great kid. Something needs to be done. Something has to change,” she reiterated.
So far, Serabi’s GoFundMe page has raised $44,608. We send our condolences to the father and the rest of the family and wish them strength during this difficult time.