16-year-old girl stabbed to death in Loop; year after brother was killed on South Side


Chalesia Clayton was home late Tuesday when she learned her 16-year-old daughter had been stabbed in the Loop. She ran to the hospital, where her teenager had been pronounced dead — her second child killed in Chicago. 

“I just buried my oldest son last year — her older brother — and now I’ve got to bury my daughter this year,” Clayton told the Sun–Times. “There’s just too much violence out here.” 

Her daughter, Heaven Taylor, was in an argument with another female about 11:30 p.m. in the first block of West Van Buren Street when that female took out a knife and stabbed Taylor twice in the chest before fleeing, according to Chicago police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. 

Police were called to the scene in response to a “large group fighting” and found Taylor lying unresponsive in the street, according to a police report. 

She was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the medical examiner’s office said. 

Taylor had just started her junior year at UCAN Academy, her mother said. 

She was “a lovable person,” and had a 2-year-old son, whom Clayton said she will now raise. 

“I just want her remembered as a good momma and a good auntie and a good daughter,” Clayton said. “This right here just hurts.”

UCAN released a statement Wednesday sending condolences to “Heaven’s family and her beloved son.”

“We will miss her outgoing personality and spirit and her drive to be her best self,” the statement read. “The entire UCAN agency stands steadfastly behind our commitment to violence intervention and prevention services throughout Chicago. We will continue to provide much-needed support to her family as law enforcement works to solve this tragic case.”

Last November, Clayton was near a South Side McDonald’s with her oldest son when a shooting erupted. 

Clayton suffered a gunshot wound to her right forearm and her son, Rodney James Strong, 29, was struck in his body. 

Clayton still has a pin and three screws in her arm from the shooting. 

Strong was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

“In Chicago … my kids got killed,” Clayton said. “I’ve lost two kids on city of Chicago property.” 

Wednesday afternoon Clayton sat with family on the back porch of their home, remembering Taylor and planning a memorial service. 

“We’re taking it one day at a time,” Clayton said. 

No one has been charged with either of her children’s killings.


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