Chicago shooting: Mother killed in Chatham drive-by shooting day before son's 7th birthday

Liz Nagy Image
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Mom killed in Chatham drive-by shooting day before son's 7th birthday
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Chicago mother Kristina de Jesus was killed in a drive-by shooting in Chatham the day before her son's 7th birthday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago family is dealing with a heartbreaking loss: a 26-year-old mother was killed in a drive-by shooting just a day before her son's 7th birthday.

Family said Kristina de Jesus' little boy pleaded with nurses in the emergency room to wake his mom up. They also said the 6-year-old said, "Tomorrow is my birthday and my mom's throwing me a party."

For his grandmother and aunts there was no option: this 7th birthday party would happen. That's all the boy's mother wanted.

"As long as he has a smile on his face at the end of the day, that's all we care about," said Melissa Castillo, de Jesus' sister.

But in all honesty, it's the only thing that's making anyone in their family smile. This is just about the worst day of their lives.

"When it comes down to family, it's just me and her here, so for her to be taken," Castillo said, breaking down in tears. "That's it."

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De Jesus' family said she was shot multiple times outside her home near 89th and South St. Lawrence Monday evening. She was a 26-year-old mother of two young children. Her family said both children were with her, as they always were, when bullets hit her.

"I called her phone hoping she would just answer her phone and that it was a mistake... but it wasn't," said Marlene Montgomery, the victim's mom.

"All he keeps saying is, 'I miss my mom. Why did they do this to my mommy?'" Castillo said.

Her sister said she and Kristina found a loving mom in foster care. All she ever wanted was to be a mom, and was building a successful career in hair. Drive-by gunmen took away another young mother with bullets her family said were meant for someone else.

"This city has to be reclaimed by people who want to live," said Dawn Henson-Smith, de Jesus' aunt. "The monsters who snatched her from her children are reckless and will do the same to someone else."

Chicago police said no one is in custody. De Jesus' family believes someone knows something, and is begging anyone with information to come forward.