Halloween shooting: Vigil held for boy, 13, killed while trick-or-treating in Hammond

Thomas Delacruz, 13, was shot in the head and another 13-year-old boy was shot in the thigh

Friday, November 5, 2021
Vigil held for boy, 13, killed while trick-or-treating in Hammond
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Thomas Delacruz, 13, was shot and killed while trick-or-treating in his grandmother's neighborhood in Hammond, Indiana on Halloween.

HAMMOND, Ind. (WLS) -- A vigil was held Thursday to remember a 13-year-old from East Chicago who was shot while trick-or-treating.

Thomas Delacruz was going door-to-door for candy on Halloween night in his grandmother's Hammond neighborhood when he was killed.

RELATED | Halloween shooting leaves 13-year-old boy dead, another injured in Hammond, police say

"They took the soul, they took my soul, and I have to wake up like this every day," said his mother, Jasmine Anderson.

Even with the comfort of her husband, the grief was almost too much for Anderson to bear after her son was killed Halloween night when a group of men opened fire on trick-or-treaters.

"I could tell a million people how smart and strong my baby was, the life he had ahead of him," Anderson said.

Delacruz had just celebrated his birthday on October 1. He was in Hammond, where his grandmother lives, trick-or-treating with his friends when his group was targeted by one of the shooters in a car who had earlier exchanged words with another teen in the group. It was around 7:30 p.m. when neighbors then heard shots ring out.

"He just wanted to be a kid. He wanted to be a kid. Kids should be allowed to go trick-or-treating," his mother said. "Kids shouldn't have to worry about if somebody is going to roll up on them and shoot them down while trying to collect candy with friends and have fun."

Police who arrived in the 3600-block of 167th Street said Delacruz was shot in the head and another 13-year-old boy was shot in the thigh.

"I just got out of the hospital," Delacruz's father said. "I was just sick thinking about my son."

The man who allegedly sparked the attack remains at large. Another man, Desmond L. Crews, 23, of Gary, was charged Tuesday afternoon with murder and attempted murder.

Police said neighbors helped nab him after seeing him running from the scene.

"The men, the fathers that made it their job to stop that mad person. They took him down and they held him there until the police came. And I thank them so much," Anderson said.

On Thursday night, the community came together to remember Delacruz. Anderson said her son loved to play sports and video games.

Candles, flowers, balloons and dozens of supporters were part of the vigil.

"Our heart aches so bad but thank everybody who came together," his grandmother, Marisol Delacruz said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hammond Police Department.