Family speaks out after mother of newborn twins fatally shot on South Side

Crystal Crockett, 21, gunned down by boyfriend 3 months after giving birth, prosecutors say
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A young mother of newborn twins is dead after her boyfriend allegedly shot and killed her earlier this month in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side.

The grieving mother and siblings of 21-year-old Crystal Crockett came to Chicago police headquarters from Downers Grove to speak exclusively with ABC7 Sunday.

"My daughter did not deserve this. I want the killer to go to jail forever," said Crockett's mother Kylia Robinson.

"Crystal was very happy to be a mom. She was super excited. As soon as she became a mom she hit the ground running," said Crockett's sister Nivea Crockett. "She loved taking care of people. She loved taking care of my grandmother. She worked as a home health aide for my grandfather before he passed and she just loved her job. And she just always loved nursing."

They said Crockett was just two years away from getting her nursing degree at Malcolm X College and was thrilled to be a new mom to her twins, Iyla and Italy.

"She was a bright soul. Wow. I can't believe I'm even doing this right now. Crystal was an awesome person," said Crockett's brother Creston Robinson. "I talked to her a couple of hours before everything had happened."

The father of the babies, 31-year-old Elijah Clippard, shot Crockett in cold blood in an alley at East 45th Street and South Wabash Avenue on the city's South Side on June 15, according to prosecutors.

Crockett had given birth to the couple's baby girls on March 21, but they have never left the hospital, according to activist Andrew Holmes. They are still in the NICU at Rush University Medical Center, prosecutors said.

Hospital video showed the couple at the hospital the day before, as well as surveillance video of the couple early the next morning. Clippard is seen driving a vehicle with Crockett in the passenger seat before parking the car in an empty lot behind an apartment complex where he lived in the 4500 block of South Wabash, according to prosecutors.

Clippard is then seen getting out of the car with a gun before shooting her several times. Prosecutors said he was "seemingly agitated" and looked around "as if to make sure no one is there."

Crockett tried to run away as "smoke from the gunfire is seen filling the car," but Clippard then shoots her several more times, prosecutors said.

Witnesses also said they heard a gun shot around 6:15 a.m. and came out to find Crockett, according to Chicago police.

Clippard was later seen on CTA surveillance at a nearby train station shortly after the shooting, prosecutors added.

Crockett's family said they had been dating since last summer.

Holmes said the new mother would visit her babies every day.

"She did what she had to do for her babies. She was an outstanding citizen, Creston said.

Crockett is described as a caring soul with a bright future. She had acted as home-aide to her grandparents and loved the caring arts.

Her daughters, essentially parent-less now, remain on oxygen but the family hopes they will be able to bring them home soon.

"She was really happy to be a mom. She went all out, she was really proud of the girls. That's what she really wanted - girls. She got her dream," Nivea said.

None of the family members knew the alleged killer well, they said, but vow as a group to take care of Iyla and Italy, and ensure they know how much their mother loved them.

"My daughter was a wonderful person and I'm going to miss her," Crockett's mom said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for funeral expenses.

Clippard was arrested Wednesday at his Far South Side residence and is being held without bond on a murder charge after a court appearance Thursday.

He is expected back in court July 14.

The Sun-Times Media report contributed to this article.
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