CHICAGO (CBS) — A Pilsen artist has painted a huge mural to remember the life of Melissa Ortega, the 8-year-old girl who was shot and killed in Little Village in January.
Artist Milton Coronado’s mural features a smiling Melissa in front of flowers and a rainbow. It features a partial verse from the Gospels in Spanish: “El Reino de Dios es de los que son como niños,” or, “The Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.”
It was painted on the side of a building at 26th Street and Keeler Avenue.
The artist says he hopes the mural signifies peace and calls for people to lay down their arms and never let something like the shooting that claimed Melissa’s life happen again.
Melissa was shot and killed while walking and holding her mother’s hand on the afternoon of Saturday, January 22, on 26th Street near Komensky Avenue.
Emilio Corripio, 16, is charged as an adult with first degree murder and other counts. Police said Corripio, a self-confessed member of the Latin Kings gang, saw two people flashing signs for rival gang Two-Six at the corner of 26th and Komensky.
That’s when Guzman drove into a nearby alley and stopped his cab, and Corripio got out and drove back to the corner of 26th and Komensky, where he pulled out a gun and started shooting at the two members of the rival gang, hitting one of them in the rear. He also shot Melissa in the head, according to prosecutors.
Xavier Guzman, 27, is also charged, accused of being the driver of the escape.