Before a 14-year-old Chicago girl allegedly fired the shot that killed Endia Martin, also 14, the .38-caliber revolver had touched many hands, reports the Chicago Tribune. Among them: A suburban gun shop known for selling weapons later used in crimes, a man whose mother did not want the gun in their home, a former Atlanta man now living in Chicago who would appear to be a middleman in the gun’s journey, the paralyzed uncle of the shooter who, prosecutors charged, rode a bus to give the gun to his niece before the fatal confrontation, and someone at the girl’s side at the confrontation who was savvy enough to fix a malfunctioning gun quickly.
Authorities say the honors student fatally shot 14-year-old Endia for the most mundane of reasons — a fight over a boy. It began with a legal purchase. It ended with yet another slaying of a Chicago youngster and the wounding of another teen. That a gun would take such a circuitous route to a crime scene might suggest this killing was unlikely. Instead, Endia’s slaying seems like so many other painfully predictable shootings in a city awash with guns both legal and illegal and beset by violent crime. “The gun started out legal, and as it changed hands, it became a crime gun that ended in tragedy,” said Thomas Ahern of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “There is such an outcry now in these areas where these young people are getting shot. Then you have an adult who is a family member providing the gun.