Serabi Medina: 9-year-old girl killed while playing outside in Chicago's Portage Park

A memorial grew on Sunday for an 9-year-old girl whose life was brutally taken when she was shot and killed on Chicago's northwest side over the weekend.

Serabi Medina was gunned down Saturday night while playing outside of her Portage Park apartment building, according to family.


The suspect, on Sunday, was still reported to be in critical condition at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. His name has not been released and charges against him are still pending, according to the Chicago Police Department.

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, neighbor. "An innocent, innocent girl who did not deserve that."

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

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.

"She was his world," said Rene Aquino, friend of the victim’s father.  

Aquino witnessed the horrific incident. He's in town from Florida and is an old friend of Serabi's father, Michael Medina. On Saturday evening, he 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.

"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.

That's when Serabi’s father tackled the suspect. The gun went off again, and the offender was shot in the face, according to police.

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

FOX32 Chicago watched as officers removed evidence from the offender’s building.

Aquino said that during the attack, the suspect was wearing headphones.

"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 being too loud, too noisy," said Megan Kelley, family friend.

Serabi, who loved ones say went by BiBi, was getting ready to start fourth grade at Reinberg Elementary School.

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."

"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."

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

"Something needs to be done. Something has to change," said Kelley. "And just something so senseless like that cut her life short at 8 years old, it just doesn’t make sense."

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.