A 9-year-old Chicago boy who lived in the South Side neighborhood called his mom while she was headed home from work, asking for an afternoon snack — a cupcake. When she refused him the treat, he ran out of the house, angry.
“He got mad because I didn’t give him what he wanted,” Brandi Murry told the Chicago Sun-Times of her son Antonio Smith.
The newspaper reported that after Smith ran from his family apartment, his 12-year-old brother called Murry to tell her. Twenty minutes after she reported her son missing, he was found dead by Chicago police, the Sun-Times reported.
He had been shot multiple times.
The Chicago Tribune reported that the area where Antonio was shot was near railroad tracks that divided the “territory” of two gangs.
“He just didn’t make it,” Murry told the newspaper Thursday. “I’m praying for the whole city right now. I don’t want no other parent to ever go through this. I feel your pain. It’s bad, and it hurts so much.”
Neighbors expressed their anguish over the situation as well.
Rosetta Jordan, an 81-year-old who sent her 45-year-old son out to investigate after hearing gunshots Wednesday, told the Sun-Times he came upon the “neatly dressed” boy lying on the ground.
“I’m still shaking,” Jordan said. “It’s just so sad.”
The young are touched by their peer’s death as well.
Akil Matthews, a 9-year-old who didn’t know Antonio, told the Tribune that he “can’t get [Antonio's death] out of my mind.”
“People need to stop killing little boys,” he said.
As a little boy himself, he told the newspaper that when he hears gunshots, “it’s intimidating and it’s scary.”
Shevelle Benard, a 16-year-old, told the Tribune she thinks the person or people who shot Antonio knew he was young and not involved any activity of the gangs.
“He’s not as tall as your belly button. He can’t do you no harm,” she said.
As of Thursday night, police had not arrested anyone in connection with the shooting, the Tribune reported.
WLS-TV reported that Father Michael Pfleger with St. Sabina’s Church offered a $5,000 reward for information to help police. New Beginnings Church Pastor Corey Brooks offered to match the reward. With other donations coming in, the reward for any information leading to an arrest from these independent sources totals $13,500, according to the news station.
Watch WLS’s report about the boy’s death:
“This was not just a murder. This was an execution,”Andrew Holmes, an activist in the community, told WLS.
(H/T: Daily Mail)