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Two teenagers in Chicago have been charged in the robbery and murder of an openly-gay high school student Terrance “Jawan” Wright (pictured). But while police are calling it a “robbery-turned-fatal-shooting,” the teen’s family believe it was a hate crime, according to

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“I believe they only did that to him because he was gay,” said Javone Wright, the victim’s younger brother.

“For them to say it was a robbery is foolishness because like I said what are they going to rob him of? School supplies or books?,” asked Tywan Bouldin, Jawan’s uncle. “His shoes or his clothes. He don’t wear stuff like that. So what was the point?”

According to the police report, Jawan was returning home from Banner Academy South High School on Oct. 19th when five assailants approached him and tried going through his backpack and pockets. However, Jawan fought back, prompting them to fatally shoot him in the chest.

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Jarone Carter, 16, is being charged as an adult with murder in the first-degree, attempted armed robbery and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. The 14-year-old who allegedly pulled the trigger on Wright is also charged with murder but his name remains confidential due to his age.

Jawan’s grandmother said Jawan was transferred to Banner Academy last year to escape bullying over his sexuality. She also offered an alternative to what police claim happened to him.

“I was told the boys were picking on Jawan, Jawan was on his way home and the boys just started picking on him and calling him names so they tried to take Jawan’s book bag,” she said. “So then Jawan and the boys got to fighting.”

“That’s when police say one of the boys pulled out a gun and killed Jawan.”

The death is still being treated as a homicide despite the family’s pleas.