A Chicago family made an emotional plea to their 12-year-old son’s killer to come forward after the young boy was shot while sitting next to his twin brother in the car, according to Fox News.
During a press conference on Monday, the family announced a $2,000 reward for any information or leads on the unknown gunman, as WMAQ-TV reported.
On Saturday around 9:00 p.m., Demetrius Townsel Jr. was shot and killed as their car pulled out of an Indiana gas station.
His twin brother, Darius, who was sitting right next to him, applied pressure to the wound as the driver drove to the Methodist Hospitals Northlake campus.
The car was briefly pulled over by local police, but after learning what had happened, the officer helped escort the vehicle to the hospital, carrying the boy into the building, Gary Police Commander Jack Hamady said.
Demetrius was pronounced dead by 9:36 p.m. according to the Lake County Coroner’s Office.
There were five people in the car at the time of the shooting.
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The twin brothers, a 21-year-old woman driving the car, and 2 other passengers under the age of 17.
Demetrius’ mother, Katherine Brown, said her sons had gone to Gary with their cousins to visit an aunt.
“Please turn yourself in. I go home empty. I miss his laugh. I miss him,” Brown said Monday.
“Why would you take my baby’s life? My baby was just 12 years old,” the boy’s father, Demetrius Townsel, Sr., added, according to WMAQ-TV. “How could you take that from me?”
“Somebody in this neighborhood knows who took this baby’s life,” Andrew Holmes, a community activist, said at the press conference. “What about his graduation? What about his future?”
“We need your help, after that you’ll see the result — how this community can be safe,” Ligon said.
“We can talk about hope and change,” Gary Mayor Jerome Prince said. “But what we’re here to do today is to make it expressly clear that instances like this make absolutely no sense and from the city’s perspective and certainly that of law enforcement, these instances will not be tolerated.”
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Police Richard Ligon said he placed five detectives and five patrol officers on the case.
The suspected shooter, described as a black man with a thin build, dreadlocks, and all-black clothing, was on foot when he shot into the vehicle, according to authorities.
Brown said her son was in the sixth grade at Bailey Academy on the south side of Chicago. His favorite classes were math and gym. He lived in Chicago’s Back-of-the-Yards neighborhood.
Anyone with information is asked to call Lake County/Gary Metro Homicide Unit at 219-755-3855 or the Crime Tip Line at 866-CRIME-GP.