Gun-Toting Senior: “I Just Want to Be Left Alone”

Neighbors say boy, 12, was a "little monster" and part of small neighborhood gang

The 68-year-old woman who shot a 12-year-old boy after he and a 13-year-old friend broke the windows of her South Shore neighborhood home says she's scared for her life and just wants to be left alone.

"These boys are out of control and the parents don't do anything," said Margaret Matthews.  "They act like they're possessed or something."

Chicago police will not be filing charges against the woman, but the two young men have been charged with aggravated assault of a person over the age of 60.

Matthews she retaliated after the boys repeatedly terrorized her.

"I just want to be left alone," she said.

The shooting occurred about 5:25 p.m. near East 76th Street and South Coles Avenue. The victim was sent to University of Comer Children's Hospital where he was treated and later released.  He and the other young man are now in the custody of their parents.

"These children did everything they could to make my life miserable," said Matthews.  "When I got home I saw the windows broken and called police -- no one came after an hour."

Then the children tried to "break the doors," she said.

When police responded, the woman said the injured boy and others had thrown bricks at her house.  She chased the boys and fired shots after the children would not put the bricks down, a police source said.

Neighbors said the boy is a known troublemaker, a "little monster" who is the head of a small neighborhood gang.

"This little boy started a fire in her grill, burned out her garbage can .. he was a little terror," said neighbor Hilda Brunt.  "This has been going on for weeks."

At least one of the boys is telling a different story.

"One minute I'm playing basketball with my friend, the next minute I see him with a bloody arm," said 15-year-old Jordan Heard.

Neighbors and friends of the victim are defending him.

"He said he was just walking past," said a friend of the boy, Tania Outlaw.

"He wasn't trying to hurt the old lady," said neighbor Rhonda Jackson. "She could have killed him."

Some neighbors say they're now afraid others will try to retaliate.

"There's some bad-ass kids around here.  Somebody's going to probably try and do something to her because she shot this little boy," said neighbor Joyce Nelson.

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