A 19-year-old man charged in the shooting death of a 17-year-old girl claimed he opened fire on the victim after she threw water at a McDonald’s employee, prosecutors in Chicago said. According to Chicago Sun-Times, the suspect, identified as Anthony Heredia, was on parole when he fatally shot Tierra Franklin on July 1.
The incident happened at the McDonald’s branch at 4334 W. 26th St. Prosecutors said the suspect informed investigators that Franklin had previously been involved in an altercation at the establishment, and the store’s employees reached out to him to come over after they recognized her.
When Heredia showed up at the store, prosecutors said the employees told him that there wasn’t any problem. The suspect is said to have subsequently waited at the store’s parking lot as the deceased victim and her family remained inside.
Prosecutors said Heredia later opened fire on the victim after water that she threw inside the store’s drive-thru window splashed on an employee. Franklin was struck while she was running back to a vehicle. Chicago police said she was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Following the incident, prosecutors said surveillance footage captured Heredia going back to the scene of the shooting and retrieving a shell casing, Chicago Sun-Times reported. A different shell casing investigators also found at the scene matched a shell casing in Heredia’s possession at the time he was arrested, prosecutors added.
“They tell you they’re going out to the store, you expect them to come back home,” Franklin’s aunt, Juanita Flowers, said. “So it’s tragic.”
Flowers also said the tragedy could have been avoided if she had picked Franklin up earlier. “I feel like if I would’ve been here, maybe an hour, 45 minutes earlier, she would’ve been in the car with me. She wouldn’t have been at the location where it happened,” she said.
The family also said Franklin was set to enter her senior year, and she aspired to become a lawyer. “Looking forward to graduating next year from Curie High School, looking forward to prom,” Flowers said.
“We just lost her mother in April. We’re not even nowhere near healed from that,” a family friend added.
Heredia has since been charged with first-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon. He has also been denied bail. In March, Heredia was reportedly granted parole after he pleaded guilty to reckless discharge of a firearm.