Forensic Science, Crime Scene, Cordon Tape, Dead Person, Detective,

There’s no love comparable to the love a mother has for her child. Just a few short weeks after Mother’s Day, a child is forced to say goodbye to her mother, who paid the ultimate cost to protect her.

24-year-old Brittany Hill was killed in a hail of gunfire Tuesday while outside of her North Austin home, the Chicago Tribune reports. The devoted mom was getting out of a black sedan while holding her 1-year-old daughter when the shots rang out. The mother of two was also with her young son, who ran down the street when the gunfire erupted. Witnesses say she was struck on the right side before taking cover behind the vehicle, covering the infant with her body.

“She shielded the baby from the gunfire,” explained Chicago police spokeswoman, Michelle Tannehill.

Thankfully, Hill’s heroic efforts were not in vain. The baby was not harmed, but unfortunately, the brave mom succumbed to her injuries. Neighbors discovered a wounded Hill next to her vehicle shortly after the shooting and rushed her to West Suburban Medical Center. She was pronounced dead around 9:25 a.m.

“She is a hero,” said Ja’Mal Green, a community activist and Hill’s former high school classmate. “She loved her kids. … She made sure her daughter was safe.”

“When Brittany was shot, she shielded her baby, was hit and fell protecting her,” Green went on,  “She survived and will have to grow up without her mother.”

Detectives suspect that the shooter, who was spotted in a silver Chevrolet Impala, was targeting three people who were near Hill at the time of the shooting.

“This is not a random act of violence, unfortunately,” Tannehill said. “It could possibly have been a targeted incident due to gang conflicts and retaliations in the area.”

So far no arrests have been made in connection to the tragic shooting, but detectives believe they found the gunman’s car and are reviewing surveillance footage for clues. Anyone with information is encouraged to reach out to the Chicago Police Department via their tips website.

This is a truly heartbreaking story. We send our prayers to Hill’s family and especially, her two young children.