Boy, 9, killed in Greater Grand Crossing shooting - FOX 32 News Chicago

Boy, 9, killed in Greater Grand Crossing shooting

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A 9-year-old boy was fatally shot Wednesday afternoon in the backyard of an apartment building in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood on the South Side, authorities said.

Antonio Smith was discovered by police shot multiple times in a backyard in the 1200 block of East 71st Street about 4:05 p.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner's office.

The boy, who lived a block away in the 1100 block of East 71st, was taken to Comer Children's Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:13 p.m., according to the medical examiner's office.

Rosetta Jordan, 81, who lives on the block, said her son, Eddie Jordan, 45, heard gunshots. Before going out to investigate, he ordered his 9-year-old son to the basement where he would be safe from stray gunfire.

She said her son found a “neatly dressed” boy lying in the backyard of a neighboring apartment building.

“I'm still shaking,” Rosetta Jordan said Wednesday evening. “It's just so sad.”

As Jordan stood at her front door, several police cars, with lights and sirens activated, rocketed past her home on three separate occasions.

Jordan Cynthia Smith-Thigpen lives in the apartment building just feet from where the boy was killed but didn't hear gunfire because her air conditioning unit and television were making noise.

“I'm glad I didn't send my 6-year-old grandson out to empty the garbage,” Smith-Thigpen said. “He has a bike that he wants to ride outside. We bought it for him, but now we don't even let him go outside because of all this shooting.”

Smith-Thigpen, 62, said the boy who was killed didn't live in her apartment building or on the block. She was not sure why he was in her backyard. “I'm depressed about the violence,” she said.

Chicago Police spent Thursday working with the community to find those responsible for gunning down 9-year-old Smith.

"He was smart...smart, funny, he played a lot, joked a lot. Just a normal 9 year old," mother Brandi Murry said.

Murry remembers her son who was on the verge of starting the 4th grade.

Smith was shot multiple times in the chest, arms and hands. The community held a rally in the backyard where he was gunned down Thursday night.

Murry, who was too overcome with emotion to speak, sobbed as others did, pleading for someone to come forward.

"Don't be silent about it because that same person who was a monster could victimize you or your kids. So speak up, silence is what is killing everybody," said Kawada Hodges, the victim's father.

Many believe Smith was targeted, something Father Pfleger agreed with.

"It's not an accident, it's not a drive by, this was an executed direct hit on a child. And whatever reason, whatever message you're trying to send, we got your message and you better get our message. You're not going to kill children in this city," said Father Pfleger.

Family and friends want someone with any information to come forward. The reward for information has been raised to $13,500 as of Thursday night.

The family hopes that will inspire someone to come through for them.

"Our family is strong. We're strong because we know God, number one. And we have a lot of faith. We've been through a lot of things in our life and we've managed to get through it. And through the grace of God we're going to get through this," said Dorothy Woods, victim's aunt.

Police are asking for any information regarding the shooting of Antonio Smith. If you have any information contact Area Central detectives.

The Chicago Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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