'My baby was murdered': Family outraged after ald. says teen killed in West Ridge was 'accident'

Michelle Gallardo Image
Thursday, October 20, 2022
'My baby was murdered': Family outraged after ald. says teen killed in West Ridge was 'accident'
EMBED <>More Videos

The devastated parents are expressing outrage at what happened, as well as at statements made in an email to residents the day after the shooting.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The family of a 13-year-old boy who was found fatally shot at a Far North Side park last week is speaking out for the first time since the teen's death.

They are refuting a statement made by 50th Ward Alderwoman Debra Silverstein as the circumstances surrounding the shooting remain in question.

Lavell Winslow was at Lerner Park in West Ridge celebrating a friend's birthday when he was shot and killed last Friday night just before 10 p.m.

"Last time I texted him, it was 8:30-9'oclock. I told him to be home by 11. He said 'OK,'" recalled Lavell's mother, Vanessa Winslow.

The devastated parents are expressing outrage at what happened, as well as at statements made in an email to constituents the day after the shooting by Alderwoman Silverstein.

"Police are investigating, but the shooting appears to have been an accident," Silverstein said in the email.

"It was not an accident. It was murder," Vanessa said. "My baby was murdered. Premeditated -- from behind."

"All I know is, my son was left in a gazebo laying under a bench with a hole in his head and was discovered by an off-duty police officer with a bunch of people running," added Lavelle's father, Jeffrey Brown.

RELATED: 13-year-old boy shot, killed at West Ridge park had 'bright future,' mother says

Alderman Silverstein acknowledged the family's grief Thursday, while addressing the recent violence in West Ridge that led to three fatal shootings in a one week period.

"This is an evolving case. They are still interviewing many of the juveniles that were there," Silverstein said. "I am grieving about this as well. It's a horrible, horrible tragedy. I'm very angry that we've had this uptick in crime in the 50th Ward and I plan to advocate for more resources here in the ward."

The medical examiner has ruled Lavell's death to be a homicide.

His parents say the 13-year-old, who is the youngest of five brothers and sisters, was a momma's boy who loved playing video games and was on the basketball team at West Ridge Elementary School, where he was an 8th grade student.

"My son was murdered. Whoever murdered him, we're standing here, because he don't have a voice. He's no longer here. We're going to do everything in my power to see he receives the justice he deserves," the teen's father said.

As for the investigation, Lavell's family has implied that detectives know exactly who they are looking for, however, CPD will only publically say that the case remains under investigation.