Star student attacked after school

Victim: I said I have no gang affiliation
February 12, 2009 2:48:18 PM PST
A Chicago teenager was severely beaten after telling the assailants he didn't belong to a gang.Alijibri Reed, 16, was attacked on Tuesday just blocks from Tilden High School after classes had let out for the day. He was beaten unconscious by unknown assailants.

Reed is still groggy, but said he wants to get back to school.

"No, I am not scared at all. I'm not really scared at all. Honestly," said Reed.

He believes the assailants went after him because he has not gang affiliation.

"'Cause I wasn't a part of their gang and I guess they thought I was in an opposite gang," said Reed.

"So maybe they thought you weren't telling the truth about being in another gang?" said ABC7's Ravi Baichwal.

"Yeah, that's exactly what I think it was," said Reed.

Reed was taken to St. Bernard Hospital.

"My baby is laying there and I really couldn't recognize him. It was beyond recognition -- blood everywhere, mud everywhere, I didn't know what to say," said Aral Reed, victim's mother. "I'm not going to let this rest."

According to Tilden High School officials, Reed is an exemplary student with good grades and a track record of participating in after school programs. He's proud of his work ethic and won't be changing that.

"This ain't nothing but a fight. My life wasn't taken so why would something like this stop me? I am going to keep going, keep doing my work in school, I will go to college and get out of the city, everything. I am going to be me. That's what I am going to be," said Reed.

"Anything that comes my way is going to make me stronger. It is not going to put me down. (I'm) still going to continue to be Aljibri, that's what I'll be," said Reed.

Reed was jumped by eight teenagers, according to police. Their gang affiliation- if any- is not known. Area One detectives are interviewing store owners and looking at tape from surveillance cameras in the area.