Chicago police are saying 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee’s murder may have been retaliation for recent acts of violence between two sets of gangs in the City’s South Side, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Police are reportedly looking into whether Tyshawn father’s alleged role in a gang rivalry that resulted in at least two recent slayings and the wounding of a reputed gang member’s mother led to his son’s demise.
Tyshawn’s father, Pierre Stokes, 25, spoke with the Tribune and denied anyone would have a motive to kill him and that, if someone did, there was no reason to take it out on his son because he’s out in the neighborhood all the time.
“I’m not hard to find,” he said.
Stokes is not too pleased police being more focused on him and not finding the killer.
“They’re more worried about me. Why are you worried about me, not the killer?” he told the Tribune outside of his home in the Auburn-Gresham community. “I’m not the killer. Worry about the killer.”
A person of interest in the slaying of Tyshawn Lee was released Wednesday by police, according to Chicago Tribune.
Attorney Sam Adam Jr. accompanied the man to the police station. Adam told the Tribune he helped his client out because of the violence that may erupt in the streets due to Tyshawn’s killing.
“We can’t afford more violence,” he said.
Tyshawn was fatally shot Monday afternoon just doors from his grandmother’s house in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.
Tyshawn, a student at Scott Joplin Elementary School, was reportedly in an alley with “an unknown number of individuals” about 4:15 p.m. when an argument erupts, someone fired shots and everyone scattered, Chief of Detectives Dean Andrews told the Tribune. Andrews said it’s unclear whether Tyshawn’s shooting death was intentional or a “tragic case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
The boy was shot several times in the upper body, including the head and back, ABC 7 Chicago reports. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Tyshawn’s grandmother, Bertha Lee, found his body lying in a pool of blood with his basketball next to him.
Fr. Michael Pfleger, of St. Sabina Church, and community activist Andrew Holmes have raised $6,000 for information leading to the capture of the person or persons responsible for the killing of Tyshawn, according to CBS Chicago.
“When an 8-year-old is gunned down multiple times in an alley, it sounds like an execution-style killing,” Pfleger told the Chicago Sun Times. “But what kind of creature are you, that you could shoot an 8-year-old multiple times?”