Police are investigating the fatal shooting of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee of Chicago, Illinois who they believe was shot and killed because of his father’s, Pierre Stokes, gang ties, according to ABC 7 Chicago. At approximately 4:15 p.m. on Monday, Lee was on his way to his grandmother’s house on the 8000-block of South Damen Avenue in the Gresham neighborhood when he was allegedly targeted and lured into a nearby ally where several members of the same gang were feuding.
The fourth grader, who attended Scott Joplin Elementary School, was shot multiple times at close range in the head and in his back. Lee was pronounced dead at the scene, lying next to a trash bin with his basketball nearby. His family said, “he loved playing ball and carried his basketball everywhere he went.”
“Please find whoever did this to my baby,” said Lee’s mom, Karla Lee. “I love my son. He was supposed to play ball. That’s all he did, play ball and play his video games. He never hurt nobody. I don’t know why this happened. If anyone knows anything, please, please.”
“Please put the guns down. It’s taking too many young lives. I’m only 26. This is my only baby.”
According to CBS News, Lee’s father “is an active member of a gang” and that’s why Chicago police believe the boy was possibly killed in retaliation for the slaying of 25-year-old Tracey Morgan, who was gunned down on October 13 after leaving a “gang call-in meeting.”
Stokes agreed with police, saying, “I think [Lee] was a target,” because, “If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have gotten hit so many times in the back and the face.” He never responded to the gang allegations, but did say he was upset with police because they seemed to be more interested in him than finding the person who executed his son.
After the Chicago boy was shot dead, Stokes refused to cooperate with police, saying, “They’re more worried about me. Why are you worried about me, not the killer?” Stokes continued by stating, “I’m not the killer. Worry about the killer.”
“Let me put it this way. We’ve tried to interview him at least twice. I can’t even tell you what he said because you can’t say it on TV,” said McCarthy. “But he made it emphatically clear that he’s not cooperating with us.”
“What happened to Tyshawn Lee took us to a new low,” said Rev. Michael Pfleger, who is a priest and a social activist. “This wasn’t a drive-by. This was not a spray of bullets. A baby was executed. A baby was assassinated right behind us in this alley.”
McCarthy concurred saying, “This is a different level. These are noncombatants now being assassinated.”
“I believe fundamentally in the goodness of human nature, but there is evil in the world,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel “And whoever did this, there is a special place for them. I hope they never see freedom. I hope they never see daylight. This person is not an individual. They’re not a human being. Because when you do what you’ve done to a 9-year-old, there’s a place for you, and there is no humanity in that place.”
Tyshawn Lee’s funeral service will be held November 10 at St. Sabina Catholic Church at 11 a.m. and visitation will be held at 10 a.m.
No arrests have been made in the case, but an investigation is underway. Police officials ask that if anyone has information regarding the fatal shooting to contact Chicago police at 312-747-8271. An award of $35,000 will be offered to anyone with “information leading to an arrest in his murder.”
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