A 9-year-old boy who was fatally shot in Chicago on Monday was lured into an alley and murdered in what is believed to have been a "targeted" shooting, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy announced Thursday.
Investigators believe Tyshawn Lee was lured from a nearby park into an alley and murdered and his death appears to have been a gang-related incident, McCarthy said.
"Tyshawn Lee was murdered in probably the most abhorrent, cowardly, unfathomable crime that I've witnessed in 35 years of policing," he said.
McCarthy added that it is believed the shooting is the most recent "in a series of gang-related violent events that may go back as far as August" or even earlier.
"This is an innocent child, this is a 9-year-old child, targeted, lured to this spot and murdered," he said. "This is different."
The fourth grader was fatally shot in an alleyway near his grandmother’s home in Chicago's Gresham neighborhood around 4:15 p.m. while still in his school uniform. Authorities said the boy was shot multiple times in the head and back.
McCarthy, who claimed the boy's father has gang ties and is not cooperating in the investigation, said the two gangs and people allegedly involved in the shooting are known, but police can't prove "who did what."
The boy's father, Pierre Stokes, was seen speaking to investigators following the announcement and later told NBC Chicago "I'm not the gang banger type."
"I don't do that," he said. "It ends here. There will be no retaliation. I lost my son. This will be the end of it."
Stokes said Wednesday he also believes his son was targeted in the shooting, but he doesn't know anyone that would do this to the young boy.
"No little boy gets shot seven times on accident," Pierre Stokes said. "That's not an accident, that's an execution."
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Surrounded Thursday by stunned members of the community and law enforcement officials, McCarthy asked for the public's help in the invesitgation.
"It takes courage to do the right thing sometimes, and at the end of the day, when good people stand up we’re going to win," he said. "We're going to solve this crime with or without the assistance of god knows who."
Father Michael Pfleger with Saint Sabina Church said the shooting takes Chicago's violence to "a new low."
"A baby was executed," he said, adding that if someone comes forward with information but fears for their lives, he will personally pay for them to relocate to another city.
Chief of Detectives Constantine "Dean" Andrews said at a Monday night press conference a group of people were in the alley where Tyshawn's body was found when an argument broke out and someone started shooting. After the murder the group fled the scene.
A reward for information leading to an arrest in the case has climbed to $35,000.
"Please come forward and find whoever did this to my baby," Karla Lee said as tears rolled down her face. "Oh my god I love my son. I'm going to miss him."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel also addressed the fatal shooting, saying the latest tragedy in Chicago violence is proof that there's evil in the world.
"Whoever did this, I want to say something," Emanuel said. "I believe fundamentally in the goodness of human nature, but there is evil in the world. Whoever did this, there is a special place for them. I hope they never see freedom. I hope they never see daylight."
Tyshawn was a student at Scott Joplin School, where his teachers say he was a "delight" to have in class. He liked to play sports and video games.
"He was supposed to play ball. That's all he do, all he liked to do is play ball and play video games," Karla Lee said. "He didn't hurt nobody. I don't know why this happened."
Stokes said a vigil is schedueld for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at 81st and Marshfield.
Anyone who may have information about the incident is being asked to call (312) 747-8271.