According to reports in the Proviso Herald, Maywood police had no suspects or motive Tuesday morning in the Monday night fatal shooting of a 17-year-old Bellwood resident.
Tawanna Ford was shot once in the head around 8 p.m. Monday while sitting in the front passenger seat of a vehicle traveling near the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Ninth Avenue, police said.
"A couple of guys were standing near Ninth and Washington, and one of them fired a gun at the car," said Sgt. Tim Curry said.
"When (the driver) realized that (Ford) had been hit, he rushed her to Westlake (Hospital in Melrose Park). (The injury) was too serious for Westlake, so they transported (Ford) to Loyola (University Medical Center in Maywood), where she was pronounced dead (at 10:29 p.m.)."
Curry said he didn't know how many shots were fired.
"The bullet that struck (Ford) in the head apparently entered the car through the driver's side rear window," he said. "The motive is unknown; there doesn't appear to be one. But we don't believe it was gang- or drug-related."
Ford, who just completed her third year at Proviso East High School, was on target to graduate a semester early, in December 2008, according to Principal Milton Patch.
"It is truly a very sad day for the Proviso East community, and I only hope that someday decision makers will rise up and take a positive stand to eradicate the violence that consumes our community," Patch said in a statement to Proviso East staff.
Patch said he previously had been Ford's principal at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Bellwood.
"I was her principal since she was in second grade and had known her and her mother most of her life," he said.
"She always had a smile on her face. She was a hard worker, and there's nothing she wouldn't do for anyone."
Patch said Ford planned to attend Triton College in River Grove from January until August 2009 and then transfer to a college in Florida.
The Proviso East principal said a memorial service for Ford is scheduled for June 14, but he had no further details Tuesday morning.
A social worker is available at Proviso East for any students in need of counseling, Patch said.