A suburban mother was surrounded by friends and family Thursday night as she continues to mourn the death of her 13-year-old son, who was gunned down while trick-or-treating in Hamond on Sunday night.
“He was everything,” Thomas DeLaCruz Jr.’s mother Jasmine Anderson said. “The best little man, he was. For the 13 years we got to see, he was so happy, full of life.”
Mourners released blue and white balloons in Hammond on Thursday, near the exact location where the teen was shot and killed at approximately 7:30 p.m. Sunday while he was trick-or-treating with a friend.
“He just wanted to be a kid. Kids shouldn’t have to worry about someone rolling up on them while they trying to collect candy with friends,” Anderson said.
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According to the Times of Northwest Indiana, a trick-or-treater exchanged words with a man Sunday evening. Approximately 30-to-45 minutes later, that trick-or-treater observed a silver car, which several people then got out of.
When one of the individuals opened fire, DeLaCruz was one of two people struck, according to police. Another 13-year-old was treated and released from a local hospital, but DeLaCruz was later pronounced dead.
Desmond Crews, 23, was captured by a Hammond police officer after the father of another child began chasing him from the scene of the shooting, according to the newspaper.
With other suspects still on the loose, Anderson has a strong message for the individuals responsible for killing her son.
“They’re cowards. They can rot in hell,” she said. “You contemplated that. You knew those were kids and you still shot. You let off over 40 rounds of ammunition. I will find you. Every day until I find justice for my son.”