Chicago man charged with fatally shooting young girl who was playing outside

A Chicago man is accused of brutally killing a young girl in Portage Park while she was playing outside over the weekend.

Michael Goodman, 43, is charged with one felony count of first-degree murder.

On Saturday night, 9-year-old Serabi Medina was gunned down in front of her father.

Just before she was killed, she’d been riding her scooter – one of her favorite things to do, neighbors said.

Police responded to the child’s home in the 3500 block of North Long Avenue around 9:40 p.m. Saturday to discover the gruesome scene.

"She was his world," said Rene Aquino, eyewitness and friend of Serabi’s father.

Aquino witnessed the horrific incident. He was in town from Florida and is an old friend of Michael Medina, the young girl’s father. On Saturday evening, Aquino and a couple friends stopped by to say hello.

"He comes up to me on the passenger side, got the window down, like I said I’m on crutches, I got one leg, so I hug him through the window, he gives me a kiss, I give him a kiss," said Aquino.

Soon after, Aquino says they heard a gunshot from across the street.

"He tells his daughter, matter of fact, grab your scooter, come on, you’re going to go upstairs, go upstairs," said Aquino. "She wasn’t even like halfway toward the doorway, when Ben says, ‘watch out, this guy just came out the building, he’s got a gun in his hand.’"


Aquino says before they knew it, the suspect was within steps of the young girl.

"When he raised the gun up, Mike seen him and said, ‘that’s my daughter!’ Mike starts moving towards him, he walks up to her and shoots her right in the head," said Aquino.

The gunman was tackled by Serabi's father and was shot in the face during a struggle, according to police. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Loved ones and neighbors say the attack on the little girl was "completely unprovoked."

"She was sweet, she would just ride her scooter up and down the sidewalk smiling," said Destiny Hill, a neighbor. "An innocent, innocent girl who did not deserve that."

The suspect, identified by police as Goodman, lives across the street.

"He deserves everything that’s coming to him, he deserves the book thrown at him. How dare you think that you can take anyone’s life. And a child?" said Angee Gonzalez Rodriguez, relative.

After the shooting, the child was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, but was later pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to the head, according to the medical examiner's office.

On Sunday, detectives remained at the scene for most of the day, where they searched the suspect's apartment and were seen removing evidence.

Aquino said that during the attack, the suspect was wearing headphones or what appeared to be noise-canceling earmuffs.

"The neighbor, he would always just come out and kind of yell at all the kids on the block. Any time they were playing, he would yell at them for being too loud, too noisy," said Megan Kelley, family friend.

On Monday evening, loved ones and neighbors came together to remember the young girl.

Family members, including Serabi's dad, friends and even strangers gathered to release purple balloons in her memory. Purple and pink were Serabi's favorite colors, according to a relative.

The happy, go-lucky girl, as family members described her, went by BiBi.

"It just makes no sense, no sense at all. Serabi was a beautiful, young, vibrant little girl, she was friendly, she always smiled," said Gonzalez Rodriguez.

"I always used to look at her and think, man she lost her mom, that hurts. But this little girl was full of life, laughing, and just having fun," said Hector Villafuerte, relative.

Sadly, her life was taken in the same way she lost her mom several years ago – by gun violence.

"Serabi has the best personality, just big personality," said Kelley. "And that girl was funny, I’m telling you we would crack up with her all the time. She was a great kid. Something needs to be done. Something has to change."

Serabi attended Reinberg Elementary School in Portage Park. She was preparing to start school later this month and would have been in fourth grade.

A spokesperson with Chicago Public Schools shared the following statement with FOX 32 Chicago on Sunday: "With great sadness, we are devastated at the loss of another young life. The thoughts and condolences of the entire Chicago Public Schools (CPS) family are with all those impacted by this tragedy."

A weapon was recovered at the scene and Area 5 detectives are investigating.

FOX 32 Chicago reached out to the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Cook County State's Attorney Office for statements in response to this tragedy, but did not immediately hear back.

Editor's note: Originally, police and the medical examiner said Serabi Medina was eight years old. The ME has since sent a revised release, stating she is 9 years old.

Associated Press contributed to this report.