Family grieves, search on for shooting suspect

July 31, 2010 4:35:49 PM PDT
While authorities hunt for the person who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy, Chicago's police superintendent is urging residents to break the code of silence.The victim, Robert Freeman, was shot 13 times.

Chicago police have issued an investigative alert for the suspect, whom they have not identified publicly. ABC7 is told an investigative alert is something police issue just short of an arrest warrant.

The grieving mother of the latest teen killed by gang and gun violence was comforted Saturday morning by those at RainbowPUSH Coalition headquarters on Chicago's South Side.

As the search for the boy's killer continued, mother Theresa Lumpkin and her relatives went to the organization's Saturday morning broadcast, and through Rev. Jesse Jackson, called for peace.

"Parents living in terror, children in fear. This is a state of emergency," Jackson said.

Tokens of friendship and sadness now mark the place where the 13-year-old was killed Wednesday just down the street from the West Pullman home he and his family fled to three months ago to escape gang and gun violence in their old neighborhood.

"He wasn't in a gang or anything. Nice kid," said an unidentified family friend and neighbor.

Friday night, Robert Freeman's grief-stricken mother and father joined the community and an anti-violence group for a vigil at 115th Street and Perry, walking down the very street where their son was shot 13 times by his attacker.

"My son's been here three months. Someone slayed my son in three months he's been over here," said the boy's father, Robert Freeman Sr.

Some frightened residents said Saturday it was possible the attack was a case of mistaken identity. Another young man who lives in the neighborhood has been identified as a suspect.

"He kept saying, 'It's not me. It's not me. I'm not the one.' But he still went on and hit him and let the rounds off in him," said neighborhood resident Darlechia Edwards.

Saturday afternoon, police Supt. Jody Weis says detectives are looking for the suspect while hoping a code of silence won't keep more witnesses from coming forward.

"I really would challenge the community on this one, please come forward. Take this killer off the street," Weis said.

In the meantime, neighborhood resident Sharon Davis says she's had enough of the violence and the killing.

"It's crazy. I've been over here for three years, and there's shooting almost every day, and that don't make no sense," she said.

Police say they have talked to the suspect's family but they have been unable to track him down at this point. Authorities decline to publicly identify him other than to say he is a young man who lives in the same neighborhood as the victim.


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