West Lawn shooting: Young mother killed during argument leaves behind young daughter, family says

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Friday, June 17, 2022
Young mother fatally shot during argument in West Lawn, Chicago police say
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Family members said Alexus Pedraza was out with friends when an argument ended with her life being taken away.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A family is reeling from the loss of a young mother, who was shot and killed in Chicago's West Lawn neighborhood on the Southwest Side Sunday.

Family members said 21-year-old Alexus Pedraza was out with friends when an argument ended with her life being taken away.

The family said Alexus actually just buried her mother less than a year ago. Now her own daughter, who is just 8 months old, will grow up without her mom.

"She wanted to be a mother, and raise her kid," said Alexus' aunt, Tracy King. "She loved her! And, like, now her daughter doesn't have her."

The young girl only shared a few months with her mother.

"She's never going to know what her mom was like," said Alexus' father, Jesse Pedraza. "How beautiful she was!"

Baby Azalia now has one less person to give her kisses and leaves her family with one more loved one to bury.

"I was asking her where she was going? She said she was a grown adult, and then she put me in a headlock and told me that she loves me and don't worry about her. She'll be fine," Jesse recalled.

But Alexus never made it back home after a night out Sunday with friends in West Lawn after she was shot multiple times.

Police said the 21-year-old was arguing with a woman outside near 64th Street and South Kilbourn Avenue when an unknown man walked up and shot her.

She died at the hospital less than a year after her own mother passed away.

"Now she's with her mother. That's the only thing that keeps me from going crazy," King said.

"I can't stop thinking about her. I cry myself to sleep every night," Jesse said.

The family is now seeking help from crisis responders. They plan to raise baby Azalia, while keeping her mother's memory alive in the legacy she left behind.

"I need her. I still need her," Jesse said. "It's going to be hard to live without her. Yes, I miss her very much. And, I need her. I need her. I still need her!"

"I'm going to really miss so much. I really am! I just want justice for my baby, that's all," said Alexus'grandmother, Tina Pedraza.

The family is planning her funeral as police are still investigating this shooting. Officials said no one at this time is in custody.