‘What am I going to do without her?’ Grandmother mourns slain teen
A single image kept returning to Susan Tranchita Tuesday morning: her slight, 105-pound granddaughter surrounded by doctors and nurses, fighting to bring the teenager back to life.
“They tried, they really tried,” said Tranchita, tears welling, her voice fading.
Instead, Taylor Fitting, 16, became the latest victim of city violence, when she was shot in the head while sitting in the back seat of a car in the Roseland neighborhood about 9:25 p.m. Monday.
Police offered little information about the killing Tuesday, other than that it occurred near 112th and South Normal — just blocks from Fenger High School.
Tranchita picked up scraps about the last hours of her only grandchild’s life from the somber teens who streamed into her Beverly home Tuesday. Fitting, who had lived with her grandmother off and on since birth, left home about 8:45 p.m. Monday, promising to be home early because she knew she had school Tuesday.
“She gave me a kiss and said, ‘I love you,’” Tranchita said. Fitting was with five other friends in a dark Cadillac with tinted windows when a bullet flew through an open window in the car and struck her in the face, friends said.
Tranchita, 62, learned the awful news later that night from Gabe Forgue, Fitting’s boyfriend and classmate at Morgan Park High School. Together, they raced to Roseland Community Hospital and later, Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where doctors pronounced Fitting dead at 11:35 p.m. Forgue, who wasn’t with Fitting when she was shot, said it appeared his girlfriend was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and not a target.
At one point Tuesday morning, Tranchita told visitors that her granddaughter’s death hadn’t quite sunk in — and then it did.
“What am I going to do without her?” Tranchita said, sobbing.
Tranchita said Fitting lived for the moment, had a sharp tongue, but was basically a good kid. Fitting had artistic aspirations. She loved taking photographs and covering the pale blue walls of her bedroom with innumerable scribblings and spray paint. Friends were also encouraged to write on Fitting’s walls.
“Whatever you had on your mind, you could write on her wall,” said Forgue, 16.
Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire