Ashley Harrison
Chicago Police Department

Ashley Harrison, 26, and her fiance and father of her two children, Garvin Whitmore, 27, were stopped at a light on an Aurora, Ill., street when a gunman walked up to the car and shot Whitmore in the head.

Frantic, Harrison grabbed a .357 Magnum inside the car and fired several times in the air, authorities say. The gunman got away, but Harrison was arrested and charged with reckless discharge of a firearm and aggravated use of a weapon.

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The Chicago Tribune reports that Harrison was emotional as she stood before County Judge Adam Donald Bourgeois Jr. Sunday.

Assistant State’s Attorney Lesley Gool told the newspaper that Harrison was seen on surveillance cameras from a nearby business firing in the air. Bourgeois noted that the shooting sounded like self-defense, but added: “What would you have her do? I mean, she chose the life to be out here with guys like that, that do that sort of thing.”

Her bail was set at $250,000.

Four years ago, Harrison and Whitmore moved their family to Aurora hoping to escape the violence of their far-West Side Chicago neighborhood. Whitmore, who worked in a factory, had been planning to spend Memorial Day weekend with family. The couple were on their way to pick up Whitmore’s aunt, Diana Davis, from National Louis University when he was gunned down.

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“I heard my niece crying, ‘Garvin! Garvin! Don’t you leave me. Don’t go. You can’t leave me,’” Davis, who was on the phone with Whitmore at the time of the shooting, told the Tribune. “I called back, and she said he was dead.”

Davis added: “He was a good working man who went to work every day. He made sure he took care of his family.”

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.