Thursday, June 2, 2016

Fatal shooting of boy, 15, closes deadliest May in Chicago in 21 years.

Fatal shooting of boy, 15, closes deadliest May in Chicago in 21 years

The gray sedan was parked in the ambulance bay of the hospital, its doors open and bullet holes just above and below the driver's side window.
Minutes earlier, 15-year-old Fabien Lavinder was in the car on 89th Street when someone stepped from an alley near Commercial Avenue and shot him in the chest, Chicago police said. He died shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday at Advocate Trinity Hospital.
Fabien was the 66th and final homicide victim last month, the deadliest May in Chicago since 1995 when 75 were slain, according to official Police Department records.
For the first five months of this year, 243 people have been killed, the most fatalities since 248 perished in 1999, a Tribune analysis of department statistics found. By the end of 1999, homicides totaled 643 that year.

Shootings have increased as well for the third consecutive year. The department tracks shooting incidents and has reported an increase of more than 50 percent so far this year. Nearly 400 people were shot in May, bringing the total for the first five months to more than 1,500, according to a Tribune analysis.
The May homicide numbers — the worst of any month yet this year — appear to belie police Superintendent Eddie Johnson's optimism at a slowing in the violence since a disastrous start to the year. After just a 2.9 percent gain in homicides in April over the year-earlier period, killings jumped 40 percent in May, department data show.
After a speech Tuesday to the City Club of Chicago, Johnson told reporters that "we've seen a steady downtrend in violence since the beginning of the year."
"It's not success, but it is some progress … and it does give us room for encouragement," he said.
The month's toll was fueled by a Memorial Day weekend in which six people were killed and 63 wounded and a Mother's Day weekend when more than 50 people were shot, eight fatally.
Chicago police have said the violence has been stoked by gang conflicts and a proliferation of guns. The department has blamed most of the violence on a core group of about 1,400 people whom they have identified through the use of data analytics.
In his remarks Tuesday, Johnson also pointed to weak gun laws in neighboring states, an endemic gang culture that ensnares children at younger ages and a "broken and overwhelmed" judicial system that releases violent offenders too soon.
He also spoke of social media contributing to the violence, saying many young people "taunt each other, brag about their crimes and dare others to confront them."
Police provided no motive for Fabien's shooting. His family said they had no idea why anyone would shoot him and said they have seen enough of the street violence.
"It really does make me sick. I want to leave Chicago," said Fabien's mother, Ericka Wright, 45. "We are ready to go."
The boy's grandmother, Faye Lavinder, expressed shock at the 69 shootings over the Memorial Day weekend.
"You never think of yourself as being a victim, but when it hits home it hits hard," she said. "We can fight disease and cure this and cure that. Someone needs to cure ... the city."
Fabien had been out Tuesday night in Calumet City with two friends and was dropping off one of the friends when the shooting occurred in the 2900 block of East 89th Street in the South Chicago neighborhood, according to the family."Someone came up to the car and shot my son," Wright said.
Fabien at first didn't know he had been shot, his family said. As he started bleeding, his friends drove him to the hospital, slapping his face and throwing water on him to keep him awake, they said.
"Before they knew it, his eyes rolled in the back of his head and it was over with," Wright said.
Wright said she was at home sleeping when one of Fabien's eight siblings shook her awake.
"Mom, mom, Fabien got shot," she said her daughter told her. She jumped into her car and raced to Trinity Hospital. "I was praying on the way there that it wasn't that bad. (But) I couldn't say goodbye to my baby."
Police wrapped yellow crime-scene tape around the sedan after Fabien was taken into the hospital. More than a dozen relatives and friends stood near the emergency entrance. They hugged, cried and smoked cigarettes.
A man in a black T-shirt and jeans walked back and forth on the sidewalk across from the hospital. He held his head in his hands as he sobbed.
"We should have just stayed in the 'burbs, man," he said to no one in particular. "We should have just stayed in the 'burbs. … This is bogus."
A woman in a gray T-shirt and long jean shorts walked out of the emergency room and started crying and breathing heavily. She and other relatives and friends walked up to the man in the black T-shirt.
"He was in that car?" she asked, pointing at the sedan. "And they just shot it up?"
The man nodded yes.
The woman's wailing grew louder. She said the 15-year-old was her brother. A woman in a white T-shirt put her arms around her shoulders, consoling her.
The family said Fabien loved playing video games and often would ride his bike up and down the street. He couldn't wait to drive.
"He loved my macaroni and cheese," said his grandmother, who last saw him Monday when he came over to eat. "He was an awesome grandson."
"My baby is gone," his mother said. "Oh, my God, my baby is gone."

One comment to this article asks the questions reporters have become unwilling to ask because of political correctness.
  • Steve White1
Back in the day, a reporter for a major metro newspaper would be asking questions, openly, such as: 

1 -- what was a 15 year old doing driving a car? Who owns the car? Did he have permission to drive the car? From whom?  

2 -- what was a 15 year old doing in a dark alley at 11 pm? Did Mom know where he was? 

3 -- what was his known record? School attendance? Past troubles? 

4 -- another commenter says that the young man's Facebook page shows him with a gun. Is that true? Did he own a gun? Was it legal? 

I think if our intrepid reporter asked these questions, we'd discover that the young man was a troubled lad from a dysfunctional family with no order or discipline, no man in the house, who was running feral. That's why he was in a position to be shot late at night

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