The younger child “was thinking that her sister was in another room” until their father was forced to break the news to her.
A Chicago father, devastated over the death of his 7-year-old girl, was seen still wearing the t-shirt stained with his daughter’s blood when he attended a vigil for her. As he mourns the death of his 7-year-old daughter, Serenity, the father named Michael Broughton is also waiting for his 6-year-old daughter, Aubrey, to complete her hospital recovery after the tragic incident.
Michael revealed that the family had gone to church on Sunday, August 15, 2021, which was the day the incident took place. After church, the family stopped by the house of some relatives before heading home in the afternoon. On their way back, the family stopped to get some food, and that’s when a shooter passed by and opened fire while the two girls were inside the car.
Neighbors could hear the screams of a woman coming from the area, and one witness claimed to have heard at least a dozen shots being fired at the time. “Like a machine gun going off, like, you know what I mean, like two people shooting at each other or something,” recalled Alberto, who lives near the scene. During the shooting, a volley of gunshots struck the car and hit Aubrey in her chest and right armpit; Serenity was fatally shot in her chest.
“They shot her in her heart. She didn’t even get a chance to fight,” said Michael, according to ABC7. The heartbroken father has absolutely no idea why the shooter opened fire and said, “I’m not no gangbanger. I’m not out here doing the wrong thing. I’m a CTA worker. I’m a bus driver.”
While Aubrey was recovering in the hospital, she had no idea what happened to her sister at first. It was Michael who later broke the news to Aubrey and told her that Serenity lost her life.
“I wouldn’t think she understood, but I had to tell her because she was thinking that her sister was in another room and she was going to see her,” Michael said.
After hearing that Serenity did not make it out alive, the children’s grandmother Regina Broughton told CBS 2, “She was getting in a car coming from her grandma’s house, and her life was ended at that moment. I mean, that’s just senseless. And you know, someone should come forth and say something. Someone should come forth and help the family, and help us – because it didn’t have to happen to her. It shouldn’t have happened to her. She was innocent. She was 7. Her birthday was coming up in November.”
Even when she was hurt, Serenity was trying to pacify her frantic mother at the scene of the crime. “She’s aware that she has been hurt,” Regina said, “and she keeps saying it: ‘It’s not your fault, mommy. It’s not your fault.'”
Hoping the family will get justice, Regina told ABC7, “I’m lost, I’m lost… I mean they were my life, my everything. How do you prepare yourself for something like this? She was a beautiful child. Her spirit was beautiful, innocent, everything about her was innocent.”
Currently, a reward is being offered to anyone who can offer information that can lead to the shooter’s arrest.
“Come forth and take responsibility. Whoever sees this, turn them in, it was a child, she didn’t deserve this,” Regina said. “If you have any kind of heart, step forward do what you’re supposed to do, and do what a decent human being should do.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to raise funds for the family.