Nine-year-old Tyshawn Lee was tragically shot and killed in Chicago on Monday. On Thursday, the Chicago Police Department added horror to the heartbreak saying the fourth-grader was intentionally lured into a back alley and shot multiple times as a part of a gang-related dispute to which Lee’s father, Pierre Stokes, reportedly has ties. The city’s Police Superintendent called the murder “probably the most abhorrent, cowardly, unfathomable crime” he had ever seen on the job. The details of the crime certainly give weight to that assessment.
Here’s more on what happened from the Chicago Tribune:
Tyshawn, a fourth-grader at Joplin Elementary School who loved to play basketball, was walking to his grandmother’s house Monday afternoon when police said he was lured to the alley in the 8000 block of South Damen Avenue and shot repeatedly. A basketball he always carried with him was found nearby.
“Law enforcement sources have told the Tribune that the bloody conflict involves rival factions of two of Chicago’s oldest gangs — the Gangster Disciples and the Black P Stones,” according to the Tribune. “Police believe the Terror Dome faction of the Black P Stones targeted Stokes’ son because his father, a convicted felon, reputedly belongs to the Gangster Disciples’ Killa Ward faction.” Stokes denies he’s in a gang. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said he believed Stokes might know who his son’s killer is, but has refused to cooperate with police.
The brutal killing continues what has already been a violent year in Chicago, where homicides are up nearly 20-percent compared to last year. The South Side’s Gresham police district, where the shooting occurred, has recorded the second most killings of any district in the city and shootings are up 32 percent so far this year. “A baby was executed, a baby was assassinated in this alley. We have gone to a new low,” Rev. Michael Pfleger, of St. Sabina Church, said during a news conference Thursday. “Now we’re going to target family members? We’re going to target mothers? We’re going to target grandmothers? We’re going to target babies?”