In Chicago alone, there have been well over 2,500 victims of gun violence so far this year. The latest, nine-year old Tyshawn Lee, was killed Monday afternoon. With 391 murders in Chicago this year, the homicide rate is up 18 percent over a year ago — and the victims include 40 children.
“Please, put the guns down, please,” his mother, Karla Lee, pleaded. “Taking too many young lives. Please.”
The boy’s mother, Karla Lee, said her son had dreams of playing in the NBA. She said he told her: “Mom, when I get older I’m going to take care of you, I’m going to get you a new house.”
“He was going to make me real proud of him. I believed every word my son said,” Karla Lee said.
“He’s a good kid. He didn’t deserve that, he didn’t deserve that,” she said through tears. “Emotions? They’re gone. I don’t have my baby no more.”
Tyshawn was shot multiple times in the neck and head. Police don’t know yet whether he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time or actually targeted in a gang feud.
“There was an unknown number of individuals gathered in the alley prior to the shooting,” said Dean Andrews, Chicago’s chief of detectives. “Some type of argument or altercation ensued, which was followed by gunfire.”
A police spokesman said while many in the community are helping them, the boy’s father — a known gang member — is not cooperating.