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Three Maywood Teens Killed, Fourth Wounded In Weekend Shooting

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Aug 11, 2008 7:30PM

2008_08_11_maywood.jpgThree Maywood teens were killed and a fourth injured early Saturday morning when the car they were in was riddled with bullets. Now, two days after the shooting, the families and police are left asking, "Why?" Devin Stokes (left), Kent Flowers Jr. (center), and Oscar Pritchett (right), all 18-years old, were killed in the shooting. A fourth boy remains in critical condition, though media outlets are not identifying him because he is considered a witness. The shooting happened in the 1900 block of Harrison Street, outside of Flowers' home shortly after midnight early Saturday morning.

All four boys, according to family members, avoided gangs and were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, caught in the cross-fire of an ongoing neighborhood war. Stokes' mother, Theresa, said, "They didn't want to be part of anything like that...They had dreams like everyone else, but they knew they had to work to achieve what they wanted in life." Milton Patch, principal of Proviso East High School where three of the four boys had recently graduated, backed this assertion: "This was a group of good kids...Something like this shouldn't have happened to them."

Flowers' father, Kent Sr., recounted finding his son in the car after hearing the nearby gunfire.

"I got out there too late," Flowers said. "I pulled my son out of the car and held him in my arms until the ambulance came. I wanted to help his friends, but I only had two arms. And I had to hold on to him. I had to hold on to hope that my son was going to make it."
Devin Stokes, a chess champion, had been slated to attend Northeastern Illinois University on an academic scholarship. And Oscar's adoptive father, Anthony, echoed the sentiment that all the boys were well-behaved.
"Oscar never ran on the streets," said Pritchett, who added that his son planned to attend Triton College in River Grove. "There was no need for that. He was a family-oriented kid. But sometimes you're in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Police have no suspects or motives at the time but hope the fourth boy may be able to provide key information. Still, the parents are left to wonder how something like this happened and why there are no leads. Said Flowers Sr., "Somebody knows who the perpetrator is. But nobody's saying nothing. "And everybody's going to keep their mouth shut. The same people keep doing the same thing over and over and over. Something has to be done." [Trib, S-T]