Boy, 16, shot to death in front of father while trying to sell Xbox in Gary

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- A teenage boy was fatally shot during a robbery Wednesday in northwest Indiana.

Officers were dispatched at 6:05 p.m. for reports of shots fired in near 51st Avenue and Maryland Street in Gary, Indiana, according to a statement from Gary police.

Investigators learned that 16-year-old Johnny Peluyera of Merrillville, Indiana, had come to Gary with his father to sell an Xbox to someone they contacted through the online sales app Offer Up, police and the Lake County coroner's office said.

"They took them to an abandoned home and they stated they wanted to test the Xbox and went to these other houses and just used the outdoor outlet to see if the Xbox worked," said Commander Jack Hamady, Gary Police Department.

Police said it was then that one of the males, wearing a gray hoodie, took out a semi-automatic handgun from his waistband, in full view of his father, who was waiting in the car.

"That's when he told his son, 'leave the Xbox' and he took off with the Xbox," Hamady said.

Johnny was able to get back in the car with his dad and they drove off, but not before Peluyera was shot in the back, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"My son is gone," said Kelly Arroyo, victims' mother, through tears. "My son is never coming back."

The coroner's office determined he died from the gunshot wound and his death was ruled a homicide.

"The emptiness that is in my heart and my stomach and my soul and my body is almost unbearable," Arroyo said.

His father, who was driving the vehicle, was not injured in the shooting, according to police.

The suspects were described as males in their late teens or early 20s wearing basketball shorts, police said. One wore a black hoodie, while the other wore a gray hoodie.

"They killed my son over nothing. They didn't even get the gaming system. They didn't even get the Xbox so why did they have to shoot him?" Arroyo lamented.

"I hope you feel the pain that I feel right now," she added. "I want you to live with this the rest of your life."

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Mike Equihua of the Lake/Gary Metro Homicide Unit at 219-755-3852 or the crime tip line at 866-274-6347.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
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