Police in Chicago investigating the fatal shooting of a 9-year-old boy said Monday they could not rule out that the child was targeted, the Chicago Tribunereports.
The boy, identified as Tyshawn Lee, was found in an alley not far from his grandmother’s home with multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body. Police say the child was in the alley “with an unknown number of individuals” when an argument broke out, the Tribune writes. Tyshawn was pronounced dead at 4:39 p.m.
Police are investigating whether the child was the intended target.
“At this point it is unclear if this was a targeted incident or a tragic case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Chief of Detectives Dean Andrews said. “At this time, we do not have a concrete motive, but we will be working around the clock to find out more.”
Family members remembered the boy as a fun-loving child who enjoyed Nintendo and basketball. His grandmother, Bertha Lee, told the Tribune the child would take his basketball to school every day.
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.”
St. Andrew’s and St. Sabina Church have offered a combined $6,000 to track down the suspect(s) in the shooting. Pastor Michael Pfleger believes the shooting was not random.
“That’s not an accident, that’s not a stray bullet — that’s like an execution,” Pfleger said to CBS Chicago.