Two teens charged in 'stray bullet' death

CHESTER, Pa. - November 19, 2009

Investigators announced the charges against Dominique Smith, 19, and and Abdul Johnson, 17. Johnson was charged as an adult. The suspects were held earlier in the day on unrelated charges.

The victim, 49-year-old /*Kathy Stewart*/, was in bed when she was hit in the head by a bullet that came through a wall and a headboard on Sunday night. She was caring for her mother, who is stricken with cancer, in her home in the 300 block of Franklin Street.

Sources tell Action News that Smith and Johnson were looking to 'even the score' with someone who lives next door to Stewart. The two suspects fired into that person's home, and the home Stewart was in. Police say she was, in no way, the target of the shooting.

Stewart died on Tuesday.

"It's crazy, it's senseless. My sister is just laying in bed, and people are just shooting in the projects," said Stewart's brother, Jerome, on Thursday. He said when police came to tell the family about the arrests, he was brought to tears.

Stewart's daughter said, just knowing that two suspects are in custody is comforting to her.

"I'm happy that they found the people and everything," she said. When asked if she thought this would help the family get over the death, she said "No" then added, "But it's a start."

As police continue the investigation, anyone with information on this case is asked to call 610-447-7931.

March for peace

On Wednesday night, more than 200 people came to honor her life in an impromptu vigil to pay respects to the victim and to say they've had enough.

In a city that has seen more than its share of violence, the case of Stewart has outraged many.

"This is really sad and pitiful that my sister had to lose her life because of something like this," Sunday Hollman, the victim's sister, said.

"It's difficult to put some kind of perspective on this, you have some young persons who have no respect for quality of life and it's basically out of control," said State Representative Thaddeus Kirkland.

News of the event was spread through word of mouth, a fact that astonished Stewart's grieving family members.

"They took my mom's life, but it brought so much love. This is incredible," Kacihsa Stewart said.

Through it all, it offered a moment of hope in a community overwhelmed by violence.

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