Darryl Green was killed in Chicago this week, and relatives say the shy 16-year-old was slain after refusing to join a local gang.
Green's body was found this week in the Englewood neighborhood where he lived, inside a boarded up house. Police said he was lying face down on a set of basement stairs when the found the boy.
Witnesses said there were no visible markings on his body, but family members of Darryl Green said the teen was beaten to death. The Harper High School student had stopped going to classes, and relatives said he was killed because of his refusal to join a gang.
"He never goes anywhere. It's just so shocking for this to happen to anyone," said Juanita Green Bonner, victim's aunt.
Green's murder took place in what has been an especially violent month in Chicago, which in recent years has seen an explosions in killings and gun crime. At least 74 people were shot on the Fourth of July weekend alone, with 12 of those dying from their injuries.
Chicago has already surpassed the 200 homicide mark for the year, though last year at this point there were more than 275 murders.
"While to date we've had significantly fewer shootings and significantly fewer murders this year, there's more work to be done and we won't rest until everyone in Chicago enjoys the same sense of safety," Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in a statement.
Though this year has actually seen a dip in gun-related crime in Chicago, slayings like that of Darryl Green continue to paint the city in violent strokes.
In the wake of the Darryl Green killing, some national media outlets have picked up on the incident, calling for justice for the teenager, calling on politicians and local Chicago leaders to address both the slaying and the spate of violence in the city.