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Authorities make arrest in case of 7-year-old shooting death

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 5:48 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Authorities released the name of the man who shot and killed 7-year-old Chrisyah Stephens back on Aug. 29.

Jaheim Lamar Campbell,18, was charged with murder and attempted murder and is being held without bond.

“Understand though that these are merely allegations that anybody accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty in the court of law,” said St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter.

Authorities said Campbell was originally arrested Thursday night on an unrelated charge, but they soon realized he was also a person-of-interest in this case.

Back on Aug. 29, Stephens was attending another child’s birthday party, when Campbell shot her to death.

Police were called to the 800 block of E. Donald St. in South Bend for reports of a shooting at 7:41 p.m.

They arrived to find Stephens shot and in very serious condition. Medics took her to a local hospital where she would later be pronounced dead.

According to the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit, initial information received was that multiple shots were fired from a vehicle driving past the home.

Although there were numerous people in front of the home when the shooting occurred, the child was the only person hit by the gunfire.

According to the charging documents 16 News Now received on Friday, Campbell was trying to shoot and kill another man, Sebastian Hines.

The bullet, however, struck Stephens instead.

“A lot of crying, both on their part and on our part. I cannot imagine what a parent feels knowing that their child has been taken from them,” Cotter said.

Family members said they would continue to speak out until the killer was found.

“Extremely thankful...hugged all of our investigators. This is something they were afraid that wouldn’t be solved,” Cotter said

Family and friends said that Stephens was a joyful little girl who had a bright future ahead.

“I wanted to express my deepest condolences to her family. I also wanted to thank the diligent work of not only the homicide unit, but also the South Bend Police Department, and most importantly the citizens of South Bend and St. Joseph County,” Cotter said.

This is still an ongoing investigation.

The charging documents are below.

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