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A family is mourning the tragic death of their 12-year-old loved one and is now seeking assistance. According to, Demetrius Townsel Jr. of Chicago was fatally shot on Saturday night while in a car in Gary, Indiana, according to police Cmdr. Jack Hamady. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to assist with the funeral costs.

Police say when shots were fired, there were a total of five people in the car with Townsel, including a 21-year-old and four juveniles.

“We believe at this time that no one in the car was a target and it was a random shooting into the vehicle,” Hamady said.

Demetrius’ family is pleading that the shooter turns himself in. “Please turn yourself in. I go home empty. I miss his laugh. I miss him,” said Catherine Brown, the kid’s mother.


Hamady described the shooter as being on foot and he was a Black male with a thin build, black clothing and dreadlocks. 

The driver of the vehicle in which Townsel was riding immediately rushed to Methodist Hospitals Northlake campus in Gary, according to Hamady. A Gary police officer witnessed the driver and escorted the car to the hospital, where cops were dispatched at around 9 p.m.

The family of Demetrius said his twin brother tried to save his life and he held his brother’s body en route to the hospital. An anti-violence activist based in Chicago, Andrew Holmes, said the twin brother tried to save his life by putting pressure on the bullet wound. Unfortunately, he was pronounced dead at 9:36 p.m. on Saturday at the hospital, according to the Lake County’s coroner’s office.

“She was looking to go home with her son (from the hospital), but instead was given only a pair of shoes and some clothes,” Holmes said of Demetrius’ mother.

Brown said her son was a good kid and wanted to be a basketball player. Demetrius lived in Chicago’s Back of The Yards neighborhood.

Meanwhile Gary, Indiana has witnessed a total of 21 homicides, including recent deaths. Demetrius’ death has already been ruled a homicide from gunshot wounds.

“With the 12-year-old, we know there will be a resolution to this,” said Gary Chief of Police Richard Ligon. “Because we have our detectives working hard.”

Demetrius’ family has set up a GoFundMe account for funeral expenses. “My 12 year old son was unexpectedly killed last night and I need to raise money to bury him in peace,” the page simply reads with an $8,000 goal. As of Thursday afternoon, the page has raised over $2,000.


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