Chicago Police are now saying that the 9-year-old boy killed near his grandmother’s home on Monday afternoon was specifically targeted for death by gang members.
The boy, Tyshawn Lee was playing basketball at a park next to his grandmother’s home late on Monday afternoon when a group of unidentified people gathered nearby. The child had joined the group at some point, but it is unknown whether he knew any of them. It wasn’t long before a gun was pulled and the child was struck several times in the head and neck. He died at the scene.
Immediately police said they could not rule out the possibility that the boy was a target in the shooting, but by Friday it was revealed that the boy was, indeed, targeted for death by gang members.
Calling the murder “probably the most abhorrent, cowardly, unfathomable crime” he had seen in his 35 years in law enforcement, Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told the media that the 9-year-old was murdered because of his father’s gang ties.
Sources told the Chicago Tribune that the shooting was a result of a war between two of Chicago’s oldest gangs, the Gangster Disciples and the Black P Stones. “Police believe the Terror Dome faction of the Black P Stones targeted Pierre Stokes’ son because his father, a convicted felon, reputedly belongs to the Gangster Disciples’ Killa Ward faction,” the paper reported on Friday.
The child’s father, though, says claims that his son was killed in a gang retaliation are untrue.
“No, I don’t think it was no retaliation because I never did nothing to, for nobody to hurt my son,” Pierre Stokes said.
While not denying he was a member of a gang, Stokes criticized the CPD for focusing on him instead of his son’s killers. “I’m not the killer. Worry about the killer,” he said.
Still, the victim’s father is currently involved in a felony gun charge and was convicted for armed robbery in 2011, a crime for which he was sentenced to six years in prison. He is currently out on parole for the 2011 conviction.
Regardless, police are still focused on the gang aspect of the case and insist that the incident is a gang-related shooting.
“We’re pretty certain that we know exactly how it occurred. We know when it occurred. We’re pretty certain that we even know the individuals involved,” McCarthy said. “But we need a little bit more to make sure that (an arrest) happens.”
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