James Murdock says his son Brian was being harassed by gangs, and he was hoping to get the 15-year-old into some art programs because his son liked to draw. Now Murdock is wondering why someone would take away his only son.
"I was his dad and I was his mama," Murdock said Friday.
Murdock was a single parent to Brian, taking him in as a foster child at 3 years old and adopting Brian when he turned 9. Murdock says he saw his son through some tough times.
"He was kind of sickly when I got him, and I had to baby him until he was 6 years old," Murdock said.
Then Brian grew older and stronger and learned to defend himself, recently fighting off gang members who were pressuring him to join them, a fight that got the high school freshman suspended for 10 days.
His father says Brian told him he had a feeling that he would be killed if he went to school. But what led up to the shooting near 63rd and Laflin Thursday evening, that killed both Brian and 17-year-old Quentin Buckner, is a mystery.
"Anyone of our children--babies, I call them, being killed is a tragedy," said Gerald Morrow, Robeson High School principal.
Both of the victims were students at Robeson High School, Murdock a freshman, Buckner a senior. Their deaths bring the number of CPS students killed by gun violence this school year to 13.
Only teachers throughout the district were in school Friday because of professional development, but Robeson's principal says the loss of two more students weighed heavy on the minds of educators.
"I guess the biggest question we ask is why, but then I immediately go to what can we do next to make sure we are there for students," said Morrow.
Morrow says students come back to class next Wednesday and anticipates that being a tough day for the school. He says there will be grief counselors on hand for anyone who needs to meet with them.
Police are investigating the deadly shootings but are not releasing a lot of details.