Teen fatally shot in Bronzeville

October 29, 2009 4:33:43 AM PDT
Deadly violence has claimed the life of another Chicago Public Schools student.An 18-year-old was shot and killed on Tuesday night while standing with friends outside his home in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood.

Gerod Thomas was a student at Chicago Vocational Career Academy. He's the eighth Chicago Public School student killed by violence this school year.

The shooting happened just after 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the 4200-block of South Prairie.

The shooting happened miles away from his high school, the Chicago Vocational Career Academy, and hours after school had let out.

Chicago Public Schools says 18-year-old Gerod Thomas was in school on Tuesday and had no disciplinary issues. But he was gunned down -- for reasons still unknown -- right in front of his house.

Bullet holes -- one in the window, two in the door -- mark where a gunman driving by took aim at Thomas.

Chicago police say there was a fourth shot that hit Thomas in his back and exited through his chest.

After being shot, he ran into the house yelling for help.

"That was his last words saying, 'mama call the police because I've been shot,'" said Regina Thomas, victim's aunt.

One shot was all it took.

Thomas died minutes later at Stroger Hospital, becoming the eighth Chicago Public Schools student to die by violence so far this school year.

Family members say earlier this year, they moved from Englewood to the Bronzeville neighborhood hoping it would be safer.

Gerod's mother, who had nine children, says they shared a special bond.

"He was the one, I think...the chosen one I think because he was my middle child," said Gloria Thomas, victim's mother.

"I loved my brother so much, he was my favorite brother," said Margaret Thomas, victim's sister.

Thomas loved basketball, skating and dancing and flirting with girls. And his family says he was definitely not affiliated with a gang.

But Thomas' death was one of several on a violent night in Chicago. Six people in all were shot, three of them killed.

Police say they have few leads in tracking down Thomas' killer. His family says someone must know something.

"I know you're scared and you probably didn't mean to do it, but you've got to give yourself up," said Gloria Thomas.


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