A Chicago police investigation is revealing the last chilling minutes of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee’s life as a trio of gang members planned his murder.
Almost immediately upon the reporting of the shooting death of the boy, the Chicago Police called the death a gang retaliation shooting and said that the boy had been targeted. And now, if the results of the investigation are any indication, it seems that it was just that. Yet, at the same time it also seems to have been a crime of opportunity.
Prosecutors now say that Corey Morgan, a 27-year-old gang member and convicted felon, was looking for an easy target to wreck vengeance upon for gang shootings that affected his own family, and he was out on November 2 looking to make good on his threats of getting even.
“Shortly after the shooting, [Morgan] stated that since his brother was killed and his mama shot, he was going to kill grandmas, mamas, kids and all,” Cook County prosecutors said. “After that day, [Morgan] and two others went out daily armed with guns, looking to retaliate.”
As it happens, little Tyshawn Lee just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, becoming a target of Morgan’s gang feud.
Officials claimed that Morgan, accomplice Kevin Edwards, 22, and a third man,”lured” the 9-year-old into an alley near the park and opened fire, striking the boy several times, including in the head.
Along with the shot to the head and several to his upper body, an autopsy showed that the child had raised his hand in fear, receiving a bullet to the hand in the process.
In the end, prosecutors say that this was a cold blooded murder, planned out in detail.
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said that Morgan has an “extensive violent criminal history who likely shouldn’t have been on the streets.”
McCarthy also warned the gangs that the CPD is coming for them.
“They’re going to be obliterated. That gang just signed its own death warrant,” McCarthy said. “We’re going to go and destroy that gang.”
But McCarthy also worried that these gang members might kill anyone cooperating with police.
“If you have a monster who’s willing to assassinate a nine-year-old, what is that person likely to do if they know that somebody’s cooperating with the case?” he said.
The Superintendent said that the shooting is “probably the most abhorrent, cowardly, unfathomable crime that I’ve witnessed in 35 years of policing.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com