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East Chicago girl, 8, dies a week after being shot in family’s living room

An 8-year-old East Chicago girl who was shot in the head while she did homework in her family’s living room a week ago has died.

Timya Andrews, of the 4500 block of Magoun Avenue, was pronounced dead at 2:04 p.m Oct. 28, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. She died at Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

Police are working with the ATF, which is offering a $5,000 reward, the East Chicago Police said Thursday morning on social media. Mayor Anthony Copeland matched the reward, for a total of $10,000 “for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) involved in this heinous and senseless crime.”

East Chicago Deputy Chief Jose Rivera said previously that officers were sent to the 4500 block of Magoun Avenue around 10 p.m. Oct. 22 after the city’s Shotspotter system detected several shots fired in the area. As they were en route, Rivera said, they were alerted that a girl a few houses from where the shots were detected had been shot.

The girl was taken by ambulance to St. Catherine Hospital, where she was stabilized and then taken to Comer, Rivera said.

Rivera said police have determined that someone shot 16 rounds from an automatic weapon at the house a few down from where the girl lived, and a stray bullet hit the north side of her house.

“Any time a child is the victim of senseless gun violence it affects and saddens us all,” Rivera said. "Thoughts, prayers and caring emojis on social media will not bring the shooter to justice. We need witnesses to come forward and cooperate with our detectives. We can’t allow these cowardly thugs to randomly open fire in our community with impunity.

“Our department will use all the resources we have available to help us catch the shooter and any person involved in today’s shooting. We are encouraging anyone with any information to call our anonymous tip line at 219-391-8500.”

Anyone with any information can also contact contact Detective Miguel Pena at 219-391-8318.

Michelle L. Quinn is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.

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