Old Town shooting victim stayed out of trouble, family says

January 9, 2013 1:09:38 PM PST
Loved ones were speaking out Wednesday after one man was killed and another was injured after a shooting in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood.

The shots rang out Tuesday night near Sedgwick and Evergreen, close to the busy intersection of Division and LaSalle.

The victim has been identified as Tyshawn Blanton, 31, who was a resident nearby.

He was shot multiple times outside a corner store, police said. Blanton reportedly was going to the store to get diapers and milk for his new baby.

A second man, 20 years old, was shot in the back and listed in stable condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital Wednesday.

Blanton's mother says her son was not a gang member, and he was a good father.

"All this killing is for nothing -- not just for my son, but everybody's son that's out here," said Brenda Blanton Calhoun.

Calhoun is demanding answers as to why anyone would kill her son as he walked down the street.

"My son did nothing but come outside, go back to the house, come to the store and get his baby some Pampers, say, 'I'll be back in 20 minutes.' Next thing you know, he's dead," said Calhoun.

Authorities say it is unclear exactly who was the target in the shooting. Family members say Blanton, a father of three children, stayed out of trouble and worked hard to support his family.

"He was a good man. He was a family man. He worked. He took care of his business. He went back home with this family and that was it," said cousin Dorie Bell.

"He was not out here trying to gangbang," said aunt Precious Blanton. "He was out here trying to raise his children as a man, as a black man.

The gunfire, which took place just a few blocks from the Gold Coast and down the street from well-to-do townhomes and condos, prompted another call for peace on the city's streets.

"The boy is nice, well known, never been in gangbanging type of stuff. So, you know, that wasn't even worth it. They just need to stop the violence, just stop it. It's not even worth it," Chante Morris said.

So far, no motive has been confirmed for the shooting. Initially, police said both victims has gang affiliations, but Blanton's family says that is not true.

Meanwhile, Blanton's death becomes the 14th homicide of the year.