Woman intentionally shot 12-year-old who had argued with her niece, prosecutors say

Chicago — Every week, Chicagoans hear about another child being shot, usually by a bullet intended for others. But in an unusual case, prosecutors said on Saturday that a 28-year-old woman intentionally shot a 12-year-old girl who had been arguing with her niece.

“You discharged a handgun at point blank range, basically point blank range, at a 12-year-old who’s basically a child,” Judge Charles Beach told Telisa Pratt before holding her without bail. “You, as an adult, pulled a gun and fired it at a 12-year-old.”

The shooting, which was captured by several surveillance cameras outside a service station in the 8900 block of S. South Chicago Avenue, left the girl in critical condition with a gunshot wound to her neck, prosecutor Gail Bembnister said.

Telisa Pratt and the service station where the shooting allegedly occurred. | Chicago Police Department; Google

According to the allegations, the victim and Pratt’s niece are schoolmates who had been involved in an argument. And around 9:30 a.m. on November 13, the victim was walking into the gas station with her sister’s boyfriend when Pratt drove into the lot with her niece in the front passenger seat.

Pratt and her niece yelled the victim’s name, and the girl approached the passenger side of Pratt’s car with her sister’s boyfriend.

“I bet you won’t swing,” Pratt allegedly challenged the girl, who then struck Pratt’s niece with her hand.

Pratt then pulled a gun from between the seats, shot the girl in the neck, and drove away, Bembnister alleged. The gas station cameras recorded the incident from several angles, including one that clearly showed Pratt pointing and firing the gun, Bembnister continued.

Chicago police served a search warrant on Pratt’s car and allegedly found one shell casing under its driver’s seat.

Pratt has three children under the age of 11 and is currently pregnant, according to her public defender, who pointed out that she has no criminal background.

Just last month, attorneys in the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender successfully argued for the release of another pregnant woman who had been held in lieu of $2 million bail on first-degree murder charges for allegedly killing her boyfriend during an argument.

The attorneys convinced Judge Mary Marubio that state law prohibits pregnant women from being jailed before trial.

Pratt’s public defender didn’t mention the law during her bail hearing on Saturday.

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