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Fatally Shot 9-Year-Old Might Have Been Targeted By Gang Members

By Emma G. Gallegos in News on Nov 4, 2015 3:54PM

Tyshawn Lee (GoFundMe)
A 9-year-old who was fatally shot in an alley on the South Side Monday afternoon might have been targeted because of his father's gang ties, police say.

Witnesses told investigators that it looks like someone lured Tyshawn Lee into an alley before shooting him several times in the upper body, according to CBS. At a press conference, Tyshawn's mother Karla Lee tearfully pleaded for help finding her son's killer, and she denied her family has any gang connections. However, investigators believe his family knows more than they're letting on.

Police are investigating whether Tyshawn may have been targeted in retaliation for last month's slaying of Tracey Morgan, 25. They believe that rival gang members might have targeted Tyshawn. His father Pierre Stokes told the Chicago Tribune that he doesn't believe his son was targeted, since it would have been just as easy to target him: "I'm not hard to find."

Stokes didn't discuss whether he had any gang connections with the Tribune, but he said he resents the police's line of questioning: "They're more worried about me. Why are you worried about me, not the killer? I'm not the killer. Worry about the killer."

So far no suspects have been arrested in the case. There is now a $20,000 reward to find his killer. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said anyone in the community with information has "a moral responsibility" to come forward. At a community meeting to discuss the case last night, Police Commander Rodney Wilson said, “If you know something, say something." He then threw down the microphone, CBS reported.

At a vigil Tuesday Rev. Michael Pfleger said that "street codes" seem to be changing; it had always been understood that killing innocent family members was off-limits among gang members. He said, "What kind of an individual shoots bullets into a 9-year-old baby ... multiple shots? That’s not a drive-by. That’s not a spray of bullets. That’s not an accidental shooting. That is an execution."

Steven Ivy, who was handing out flyers with information on the case, said he wished the community were more up in arms over the case. He told CBS, "We don't want to take no action, but if it was the police that shot one of us, this whole neighborhood, this the whole community, every black person would be out rioting, marching, upset about it, but we not upset that one of our own got killed by the hands of one of our own."