Portage Park girl shot and killed, neighbor charged with first-degree murder – NBC Chicago

A man who police say shot and killed a 9-year-old girl in Chicago’s Portage Park neighborhood before being shot himself as her father tackled him following the shooting will appear in court Tuesday for the first time.

Michael Goodman, 43, faces a charge of first-degree murder for the shooting death of 9-year-old Serabi Medina, who was killed on Saturday night, police said. He is expected to appear in bond court Tuesday.

The shooting happened at around 9:20 p.m. in the 3500 block of North Long Avenue.

A neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous for safety concerns, told NBC Chicago he saw the girl riding her scooter moments before she was killed.

Witnesses said Goodman reportedly shot the young girl in the head because he was upset over noise.

“It just didn’t make sense. None of it made sense,” a neighbor, Megan Kelley, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Everybody in the community would just tell him they are just kids having fun playing. Just let them be.”

After the shooting, the gunman was tackled by the girl’s father and shot during a struggle, according to a police report. He was taken to a hospital.

“[The father] ran all the way over there, football tackled this guy and that weapon discharged,” community activist and crisis responder Andrew Holmes said.

“He saved other people,” Angee Gonzalez Rodriguez, a cousin of Serabi’s father, said. “Who knows what that else that man was going to do that night… Serabi’s father didn’t recognize him or know who it was.”

Serabi and her father had been living in Portage Park for about two years. They moved to the neighborhood shortly after her mother was murdered in 2018.

Serabi was a typical 9-year-old; she loved riding her scooter, making bracelets and finding new friends, according to family.

“How dare you, you cannot just take anyone’s life… a child,” Gonzalez Rodriguez said. “What did that child do to you? I hope he gets what he deserves. I hope he gets the book thrown at him.”

A memorial has grown outside the family’s home, with mourners stopping by to pay their condolences and drop off items, including candles and stuffed animals. The colors purple and pink were common sights Monday night at a vigil hosted in the young girl’s honor.

“I use to look at her and think man- she lost her mom – but she is still full of life – laughing and having fun,” said relative Hector Villafuerte.

Serabi attended Peter A. Reinberg Elementary School, where she was set to enter the fourth grade. Her family is now planning a backpack giveaway in her honor.

“It is just a shame her life was dimmed- just gone – completely gone – makes no sense,” Gonzalez Rodriguez said.