Chicago locals are baffled by the senseless killing of a 16-year-old boy who was shot in broad daylight on Wednesday, Aug. 16, while playing basketball in a neighborhood park on the South Side.
The killer stepped out of a car near Bradley Park at around 4:30 p.m. wearing a black hoodie and walked up to the basketball court.
“Which one should I shoot? Which one?” he said, according to the victim’s godmother, who spoke to ABC7.
The killer then shot Kejuan Thomas several times in the head. The boy died within minutes, police said.
People who knew Thomas said that he loved basketball and was completely focused on the game, NBC reported. He participated in a summer league in the hope of being recruited.
“This kid was a good kid. He was a kid that loved his parents. Parents loved him. Everybody loved this kid,” said Tony Gibson, the boy’s basketball coach.
“It’s a shame that good kids like that are the ones getting killed,” he added.
Witnesses said the killer aimed right at Thomas.
“I heard about 4 or 5 gunshots. Immediately I ran over there because I heard screaming,” said George Hudson, a neighborhood resident.
The killer got in the car and sped off. Police are investigating but no one is in custody yet.
Neighbors said that the basketball court has video cameras and they hope that police will be able to identify the killer, according to Chicago Tribune.
Thomas did not live near Bradley Park but often went there to pick up basketball games. He would have been a junior at Tilden High School.
“It was senseless, because every time I see him I’ve never seen him outside of a basketball court. Every time I see him, he’s playing basketball,” said Dominique Mosley, a neighbor.
Neighbors who live close to the park on East 97th Street and South Yates Avenue said that this is the third shooting this year. Some said parks are particularly problematic.
“They shoot at the park. They drink at the park. They fight at the park. They smoke at the park. So we need to get somebody at the park,” said Ginna McKillion, a neighbor.
Police said that two other people were killed and nine wounded in Chicago from Wendesday morning till early Thursday.
Violence in Chicago is on pace to reach the highest it has been in two decades. Chicago is run by a Democratic mayor. America’s 10 most violent cities are all run by Democrats, according to Front Page Magazine.
On Thursday night, neighbors gathered in Bradley Park for a vigil for Thomas.
“You took the dream away from this boy. You took a hooper’s dream. You took his life away from him, when he was doing what he loved,” Mosley said.