Beautiful 8-year-old girl brought to US to escape cartels’ crime shot dead by gangbanger on probation for 3 carjackings in Chicago

If ever there were a face of innocence to haunt us as a victim of unthinkably cruel violence, it would be the beautiful and sweet visage of Melissa Ortega.

According to a GoFundMe page, Melissa and her mother — both from Mexico — arrived in Chicago in August. In Wednesday's statement, her mother said that the family had been "filled with dreams" about their move to the United States.

"We imagined a better life here. We came in search of the American Dream we so famously hear of but instead I get to live a nightmare for the rest of my life," she said.

Via Twitter

As usual, guns are being blamed. But the hands that allegedly held the gun that shot her belonged to someone who should not have been at liberty to kill. Mary Mitchell of the Chicago Sun-Times:

Something has gone awry with our criminal justice system as it pertains to juvenile offenders.

The latest evidence of our broken system is the shooting death last weekend of 8-year-old Melissa Ortega of Little Village.

Emilio Corripio, 16, is charged with opening fire on busy 26th Street and killing her. It isn’t the first time the teenager accused in this shooting has been charged with using an illegally obtained weapon to commit a crime.

At the time police say Corripio stepped out from an alley and turned a peaceful street into a shooting gallery, he was on probation for three armed carjackings in the past year.

On the day Melissa was killed, the self-proclaimed Latin Kings gang member was targeting rival gang members, according to the police, and hit one of those rivals in the back, leaving him hospitalized in critical condition.

But two bullets struck Melissa in the head as she ran alongside her mother, trying to escape the gunfire. The 8-year-old died hours later.

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