A young Chicago mother lost her life earlier this week while protecting her infant daughter from sudden gunfire.
Brittany Hill, 24, was shot and killed early Tuesday morning outside of her home in the North Austin area, the Chicago Tribune reports. Hill was getting out of a car at around 8:50 a.m. with her 1-year-old daughter in her arms when then-unidentified shooters in a silver Chevrolet Impala opened fire, according to the outlet.
After gunfire struck Hill on her right side, she took cover behind a nearby car and used her body to “[shield] the baby from the gunfire,” Chicago police spokeswoman Michelle Tannehill told the paper.
“All of a sudden, I hear all these gunshots ringing out. I see Jacob running and Brittany lying in the street,” Larry Jones, the child’s great-grandfather, told Chicago’s ABC 13.
Police say that bystanders took Hill to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, where she was pronounced dead at 9:25 a.m., according to the outlet.
Hill’s young daughter was unharmed, the Chicago Sun-Times reports, citing authorities.
Hill is also survived by a young son who was nearby during the shooting and who fled to safety, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Two men were taken into custody on Tuesday and charged on Thursday in connection to Hil’s killing: 39-year-old Michael Washington and 23-year-old Eric Adams, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The two men, both Urbana residents, have been charged with one felony count of first-degree murder and are scheduled to appear Thursday in central bond court, according to the outlet.
Before the gunfire erupted, Hill was talking to her boyfriend who was seated in his car, according to Chicago’s ABC 13.
Police have theorized that Hill’s killers were targeting the people she was talking with before her death, per the Chicago Sun-Times’ report.
Authorities have also theorized that the shooting was gang-related.
“This is not a random act of violence, unfortunately,” Tannehill previously told the Tribune. “It could possibly have been a targeted incident due to gang conflicts and retaliations in the area.”
Local activist and former mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green said in a series of social media posts that he and Hill were childhood friends and that he was left “sick and shocked” by her killing.
“My childhood friend Brittany was just killed with her child in her hand this morning. Just talked to her and she’s a big supporter of mines!” he wrote. “I’m sick and shocked and can’t believe it.. we must step up and stop this violence, we HAVE too! Wow chicago..”