The Austin community continues to respond with anger and sadness over the shooting death of a 7-year-old Austin girl the night of June 27.

A prayer vigil organized by community and clergy leaders took place early Thursday morning at the site of the shooting, on the 1700 block of North Luna. A press conference is scheduled for this evening at 5618 W. North Ave. by leaders to announce a reward fund for information leading to the arrest of the shooter/s. The reward amount has not been released as of yet.

Heaven Sutton was shot late Wednesday just before 11 p.m. while sitting next to her mom at the family’s candy stand near their home. A stray bullet hit the child as she ran back into her home, according to police. Her mother, Ashake Banks, had just opened the stand two weeks ago, according to news reports. Thursday morning’s prayer vigil included Heaven’s family.

“Murder of this proportion is the worse of the worse,” said Rev. Ira Acree of Greater St. John Bible Church in Austin in a press release. “It is my prayer that this alerts some sense of urgency like never before. We must make sure that somebody pays and that these hoodlums are caught and punished. Then we will be able to reclaim our community.”

Following this evening’s press conference at the North Avenue and Central White Castle restaurant, leaders will host a community march scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

For more information: 773-378-3300

  • Press Conference to announce reward for information leading to the arrest of Heaven Sutton’s killer/s
  • 6 p.m., Thursday June 28
  • White Castle Restaurant, 5618 West North Ave.
  • Community march at 7 p.m.