An 18-year-old woman was taken into custody in Chicago in connection with the stabbing death of a 16-year-old girl in the Loop after officials were contacted by a pastor at a West Side church who told them the suspect was looking to turn himself in, according to a police report.
The woman remained in custody Thursday afternoon. Earlier, Chicago police announced charges in the case, but have since said it was done in error.
A spokeswoman for the Cook County State’s Attorneys Office said police had not submitted a case to the office for review as of Thursday afternoon.
Shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday, police encountered the pastor and the woman outside a West Side church, and she was taken into custody without incident, police said.
Officers responding to a disturbance at a Loop Taco Bell around 11:20 p.m. Tuesday were flagged down by someone who described a nearby stabbing 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. The officers applied a “chest seal”.
Several witnesses were still at the scene where a large group was fighting. At least one person identified the suspect by name and told police that Taylor had argued with her when the suspect pulled out a knife and stabbed her twice in the chest before running away.
A man who worked at the same church as the pastor and helped facilitate the woman’s arrest told the Sun-Times that she came to them after the incident, scared and looking for help.
“She was attacked, and in all the videos you see, she was attacked,” he said. “People were trying to paint her as an abuser, but she wasn’t. She was there until they came and attacked her, and it escalated.
Police have not released any videos related to the case.
He said there had been previous altercations with this group of girls and the woman arrested was acting in self-defense.
After speaking with the woman and her mother, the man and other church leaders advised her to go to the police and called the Harrison Police District religious counselor. The church employee said he was confident police would be able to see from video footage that the suspect had been attacked.
Taylor, who was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, was pronounced dead early Wednesday.
Taylor’s mother, Chalesia Clayton, told the Sun-Times Wednesday that her daughter had just started her freshman year at UCAN Academy on the South Side.
She was “a lovely person” and had a 2-year-old son, who Clayton said she would now raise.
“I just want her to be remembered as a good mom, a good aunt and a good daughter,” Clayton said. “It just hurts here.” »
UCAN released a statement on Wednesday conveying its condolences to “Ciel’s family and his 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 – his older brother – and now I have to bury my daughter this year,” Clayton told the Sun–Times. “There is just too much violence here.”