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Family Planning Funeral for Slain Romeoville Teen [UPDATE]

Ex-boyfriend Erick Maya is accused of killing Briana Valle and wounding the teen's mother.

15-year-old Briana Valle, left, and mom, Alicia Guerrero. Credit:
15-year-old Briana Valle, left, and mom, Alicia Guerrero. Credit:
Services are being planned for 15-year-old Briana Valle, a Romeoville High School freshman who was shot to death last week as she sat in a car in her driveway.

Visitation is slated for 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Russo's Hillside Chapels, 4500 Roosevelt Rd. in Hillside, according to Romeoville resident Anna Little-Maloney, who last week launched a GoFundMe campaign for the teen's family.

A funeral service is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Hillside Chapels, follwed by interment at Resurrection Cemetery, 200 W. Romeo Road in Romeoville.

"Everyone is welcome," Little-Maloney said.

Erick Maya, 23, of Cicero, is charged with murder in Valle's death. He also faces attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon charges over accusations that he shot the teen's mom, 33-year-old Alicia Guerrero, in the neck.

Little-Maloney said she spoke with Guerrero on Tuesday night, a day after she was released from the hospital. Little-Maloney said the wounded mother has not yet returned to the Romeoville home the family shared prior to Briana's death. 

"She's just not ready yet," Little-Maloney said.

The mother and daughter were shot as they sat in a vehicle in the driveway of their Emery Avenue home on the morning of Feb. 13. Little-Maloney said the teen's father — Guerrero's husband — and brother also live at the home.

The family reportedly moved to Romeoville in October to escape a turbulent past in Chicago. Briana had dated Maya in the past, but the two had since broken up, police said. Guerrero had reportedly taken out restraining orders in an attempt to keep Maya away from Briana.

"That's why they saved all their money and bought a house in Romeoville," Little-Maloney said. "They came here to start a new life."

That new life was shattered at around 7 a.m. Feb. 13 when Maya walked up to the mother and daughter's car and opened fire, shooting the 15-year-old twice in the head before striking Guerrero, according to police.

The mother claims Maya was trying to shoot the 15-year-old a third time when he missed, and struck her in the neck.

"He was aiming for her daughter's head again, and she shoved her head down by her feet," Little-Maloney said. "He was going to unload that whole gun into that poor girl's head."

The teen and her mother were both taken to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital before being transported to Loyola University Medical Center, where Briana later died.

Guerrero expressed gratitude for the quick response of police and emergency responders in the wake of the shooting. 

"She said that Chicago [police] never helped her," Little-Maloney said. "She's very, very grateful for what they have done for her and her family."

Police took Maya into custody hours after the shooting. Around 9:30 a.m. Thursday — about two-and-a-half hours after the shooting — a K-9 unit found him hiding under a deck at a home just blocks from the crime, police said.

Authorities said the weapon he is believed to have used in the crime was recovered during a search of the neighborhood on Sunday, Feb. 16.

Heidi Gasic-Eisnaugle February 19, 2014 at 10:16 PM
Russo Hillside Chapels • 4500 Roosevelt Road • Hillside,IL  60162 • Ph:708-449-5300
Judy Gross February 19, 2014 at 11:13 PM
Thank you Heidi!
C Thomas McGee Jr February 20, 2014 at 02:48 PM
I Just read it in the paper yesterday that she had passed. Such an unnecessary tragedy...

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