Police say Jalil Muhammad was accidentally shot and killed by a younger sibling who gained access to a gun in the house. He was the oldest of three children.
Paramedics were sent to the home in the 200-block of West 93rd Place in Princeton Park around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday after a caller told 911 dispatchers Jalil Muhammad was having a seizure. He was pronounced dead at Comer's Children's Hospital where doctors found he had been shot in the head behind his ear.
After interviewing Muhammad's family members, police determined that the shooting was an accident. The younger sibling will not be charged, but Muhammad's father faces misdemeanor charges for not having a firearm owner's ID card and not registering two guns in his home.
News about his death devastated relatives who found out about it first thing Wednesday morning.
"He was just a sweet little boy, sweet little boy. He was very respectful," Nina Jones, relative, said tearfully. "He's always nice. He is always respectful. He minds his parents. He minds his elders."
Jones says Muhammad -- a special needs student at the University of Chicago Charter School -- was earning good grades as a freshman.
"He was a real nice young man. He was never in trouble," said neighbor Sarah Jones. "I just saw him play with the other children. He wasn't rude. He was nice, smart."
"He played with my great niece and nephew who live next door, and we see him all the time out here playing. He has a very good family," said Valency White, also a neighbor.
Relatives say Jalil's parents doted on him and his two younger siblings. They say the family has lived in the neighborhood for several years.
"This is a tragedy. He was a very sweet, lovable child. He would always run and hug me when he saw me. A real nice family," said Stephanie Houke, family friend.
Grief counselors will be available at the University of Chicago Charter School to help students and staff cope with the loss.