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Second man held in 7-year-old girl’s killing in Austin

Memorial Service for 7- year old Heaven SuttSt. Mark International Christian Church Friday July 6 2012. | John H. White~Sun-Times

Memorial Service for 7- year old Heaven Sutton at St. Mark International Christian Church, Friday, July 6, 2012. | John H. White~Sun-Times

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Updated: August 8, 2012 6:06AM



Hours before Heaven Sutton was laid to rest Friday dressed as a princess in a pink and white casket, police arrested a second person in the 7-year-old girl’s fatal shooting.

No charges had been filed as of Friday night. But authorities said the suspect being questioned is a gang member like alleged gunman Jerrell Dorsey, 26, who is being held without bond for last week’s murder.

As mourners packed St. Mark International Christian Church Friday afternoon, the Rev. Andre Thurmon passed on “a message from heaven through Heaven.”

“She’s speaking to the community she lived in. It’s time to stop killing one another,” Thurmon said at the West Side church, 832 N. Leclaire.

Some in the standing-room-only crowd paid tribute to the Josephine Locke Elementary School student by wearing t-shirts that read “It was Heaven on Earth” and “Heaven on Earth movement.”

Heaven was “an

angel just like most of the kids,” family friend Chennelle Torry said as others bid their teary goodbyes.

“It’s time for a wake up call for this community. People think they’re going to be a snitch if they say what’s going on,” Torry said of the purported gang crossfire that claimed Heaven’s life.

Police blamed the fatal gunfire on a feud between warring gangs — the 4 Corner Hustlers and the Maniac Insane Vice Lords.

Heaven had just finished selling candy with her mother in front of their Austin home when two men approached and began firing, police said. A stray bullet hit the child in the back. A 19-year-old man was also wounded in the gunfire in the 1700 block of North Luna Avenue.

During Heaven’s funeral service Friday, Thurmon told the grieving adults to “stand on the corner with your child and say, ‘I’m not going home until you’re going home.’”

Thurmon additionally urged those in the pews who own weapons to dispose them.

“I urge young men, if you are in a gang or packin’. I encourage you to leave it in my office and I’ll turn it in. Don’t let Heaven’s death be in vain,” the pastor said standing just a few feet from the small casket that was filled with Disney toys.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson also told Heaven’s family and friends that the community must “declare a war a war” and not “adjust to babies dying.”

“A lot of our babies are being killed for no reason and it really needs to stop,” church member Georgia Sherden said, echoing Jackson.

“You are really wiping your own culture from existing. You are killing yourselves. Why are you doing this? What are you getting out of this? That’s what I don’t understand.”



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