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Toddler Shooting Victim Dies, Suspect Turns Himself Him

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Apr 22, 2010 9:20PM

Family photo via the Tribune
Cynia Cole, the 20-month-old girl who was shot in the head last night, died around noon today at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital. Her mother told media that doctors had been trying to reduce brain swelling before she passed away. Police still believe her father, Jerome Hendricks, was the target of the attack.

Hendricks said he recognized the gunman -- who remains at large -- as a man from the neighborhood who’d accused his pal, Michael Johnson, of trying to kill him. He said the family was returning home from a visit to Cynia’s aunt’s home and was picking up cigarettes from a man who sells them from his home when the gunman opened fire.

“He came in the middle of the street, shot eight times,” the father said.

“I knew my baby was hit,” he added, pointing to blood stains on his jacket, which he said were from his little girl. “I reached in to the back and held her with one arm while driving with the other.”

Meanwhile, the suspect in the shooting has turned himself in. According to the Tribune: "A suspect in the shooting death of Cynia Cole has surrendered to police accompanied by the Rev. James Meeks. The man turned himself in at about 3:15 p.m at Area 2 headquarters." Authorities are still investigating if last night's shooting is related to two nearby shootings in the Chatham neighborhood in the last two days.