A 24-year-old woman was found shot to death inside of a vehicle in Joliet that was also occupied by a 2-year-old child who was unharmed, police said.
The woman who died is Maya Smith, 24, according to the Will County Coroner Laurie Summers’ Office. She was pronounced deceased at 4:21 a.m. Sunday after suffering multiple gunshot wounds, the coroner’s office said.
Officers are investigating Smith’s death as a homicide.
At 12:21 a.m. Sunday, officers responded to a report of a parking lot complaint in an alley west of the 1200 block of Clement Street, according to a news release from Joliet police Sgt. Dwayne English.
The alley is between Clement Street and Oakland Avenue.
When officers arrived, they found a dead 24-year-old woman in the front seat of the vehicle who appeared to have suffered from multiple gunshot wounds, English said.
A 2-year-old female child was found by officers in the backseat of the vehicle and she was not harmed, English said.
Detectives and evidence technicians responded to the scene and completed an investigative canvas, he said.
The 2-year-old child was taken to Ascension Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet for a precautionary medical evaluation, English said. The child was then released to the custody of other family members, he said.
The alley is next to the South Side Civic Club, 1214 Oakland Avenue.
Ken Bosman, a club member who lives in Channahon, was outside in the parking lot late Sunday morning.
Bosman said he heard there was a shooting but didn’t know the details.
“It’s a shame,” he said of the incident.
Brianna Gaskin, who lives at a residence in the 1200 block of Clement Street that’s next to the alley, said she was up around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday and she remembers seeing police lights in the alley.
“Honestly, I just feel like that’s sad,” Gaskin said of the shooting.
A Joliet police squad vehicle passed through the alley at about 11:12 a.m. on Sunday. The officer had briefly parked the vehicle and left to speak with a resident.
Anyone with information about this incident should contact the Joliet Police Department’s investigation unit at 815-724-3020.
If they wish to stay anonymous, they can contact Crime Stoppers of Will County at 800-3236734 or visit the organizations’ website at crimestoppersofwillcounty.org.