An 18-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the stabbing death of a 16-year-old girl in the Loop after Chicago police were contacted by a pastor of a West Side church who told them the suspect wanted to turn herself in, according to a police report.
Charges were pending against the woman as of Thursday afternoon. Earlier, Chicago police announced charges in the case but have since said that was done in error.
A spokeswoman for the Cook County state’s attorneys office said Chicago police had not submitted a case to the office for charging consideration as of Thursday afternoon.
Just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, police met with the pastor and the woman outside a West Side church, and she was placed into custody without incident, police said.
Officers responding to a disturbance at a Loop Taco Bell about 11:20 p.m. Tuesday were flagged down by someone who described a stabbing nearby in the first block of West Van Buren Street. There, they found Heaven Taylor lying in the street, suffering from stab wounds to her chest. Officers applied a “chest seal.”
Several witnesses were still on the scene where a large group had been fighting. At least one person identified the suspect by name and told them Taylor had been in an argument with her when the suspect took out a knife and stabbed Taylor twice in the chest before fleeing,
A man who worked at the same church as the pastor and helped facilitate the woman’s arrest told the Sun-Times she came to them after the incident, scared and looking for help.
“She (the woman) was being attacked, and in all the videos that you see she was being attacked,” he said. “People were trying to portray it as if she was an aggressor, and she wasn’t. She was standing there until they came and attacked her, and it escalated.”
He said there had been previous altercations with this group of girls, and that the arrested woman was acting in self-defense.
After speaking with the woman and her mother, the man and fellow church leaders advised her to go to police and called in the Harrison Police District’s faith adviser. The church worker was confident police would be able to see from video footage that she had been attacked.
Taylor, who was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, was pronounced dead early Wednesday.
Taylor’s mom, Chalesia Clayton, told the Sun-Times Wednesday that her daughter had just started her junior year at UCAN Academy on the South Side.
She was “a lovable person” and had a 2-year-old son, whom Clayton said she will now raise.
“I just want her remembered as a good momma and a good auntie and a good daughter,” Clayton said. “This right here just hurts.”
UCAN released a statement Wednesday sending condolences to “Heaven’s family and her beloved son.”
Taylor was the second child in less than a year that Clayton lost to violence in Chicago.
“I just buried my oldest son last year — her older brother — and now I’ve got to bury my daughter this year,” Clayton told the Sun–Times. “There’s just too much violence out here.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.