Boy, 13, Dead From Gunshot On Basketball Court

UPDATED 08/04/11 5:01 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – A 13-year-old boy playing basketball with his friends in Bronzeville was shot and killed Wednesday night.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, Darius Brown was playing a game of pickup basketball at about 5:20 p.m. Wednesday at Metcalfe Park, in the 4200 block of South State Street, just two blocks from his home.

Police said someone pulled up in a vehicle and opened fire. Darius was shot in the neck. Police said the boy does not appear to have been the intended target, but so far they don’t have any suspects.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

Darius was taken to the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s hospital in critical condition. He was pronounced dead early Thursday morning.

His mother, Stephanie Brown said that police are looking at surveillance video from a camera across the street from the park, hoping they can zoom in on the vehicle involved in the shooting.

“I never thought, ever, ever, ever, ever that my baby would be gunned down playing basketball,” she said.

Darius was a rising basketball star, about to enter the 8th grade at Holy Angels Elementary School.

“I was notified by some of my neighbors that play ball with him every day. They ran from the park and told me that my son had been shot,” Stephanie Brown said.

She showed off all the trophies and medals he won over the years, saying that basketball was his passion since the age of 5.

“I just find comfort in the fact that he was doing something that he loved to do,” she added.

Darius was the youngest of four children. He was closest to his older brother.

“It’s really hard, it’s really hard. He was the youngest, he’s the baby. You know, he’s greatly missed and loved; and not just my family, but just his coaches, their families, friends. This touched so many people’s lives,” his mother said.

The family said they’ll remember him as a free spirit and a fun, loving kid.

“You know what, it’s not anything that you can make sense of because you just want to know what kind of person would do such a thing to kids,” his mother said. “And it was obviously children up there playing, so it’s like, I don’t know anybody that would do something like that.”

Some friends of Darius’ who were playing basketball with him when he was shot said Thursday that they didn’t know what was happening until it was too late.

They said they come to the park everyday, but it doesn’t look the same to them anymore after Darius was killed.

Instead of playing hoops on Thursday, they were signing a ‘rest in peace’ card for Darius.

“We were just playing basketball and, out of nowhere, just gunshots start going off and everyone ran. I hid behind the tree,” said Darius’ friend Oakley, who didn’t want to give his last name.

“I didn’t know he got hit,” Oakley said. “He actually let everybody know he got hit. He yelled it out loud. No one actually noticed it at first, because everybody else was just trying to get away.”

Adults who worked with the young victim in an after-school program felt compelled to come to Metcalfe Park and do something.

“He was truly an all-around good person, team player, motivator. He did everything he could to lift up any and everybody that he was around,” said Tiffany Thomas. “To see something just tragically happen to such a great person is a terrible loss.”

Thomas ran into Darius just a few hours before he was shot. He was buying cat food and talking about his future.

“He was just talking about the first day of school. It’s coming up, it’s on the 26th. He was getting his clothes ready for back to school,” Thomas said.

As of Thursday evening, police had not made any arrests in the case and could offer little information about the suspects, other than the car might be white or light-colored.

  • aj

    Sick of these dumb gang bangers

    • San

      It is not all gang banger. Many of these shootings are conflcts, (You looked at me the wrong way, or you trying to talk to my girl stuff.) It is the older adult people living with their mothers who are causing the problems. Mothers need to put these old, useless adult children out of their homes if they are not being productive, they need to beat the streets. They refuse to work or go to school. Their purpose in life is to be destructive and they are good at what they do. Additionally, where are all the guns coming from? People with guns are a dangerous combination. I feel so sorry for this family and for the young child who did not reach his potential.

    • Jennifer Richardson

      It is the end times and it is a time now to know Jesus as your personal saviour. This nonsense and it need to stop! I just buried my five year son due to the neglegence of a reckless driving van driver who as not apying attention to children at play. My heart truly goes out to this young man’s family that they will turst in the Lord and hold fast to his unchanging hand knowing you are not alone.

  • CFLC

    Someone came on TV and said the police should be stationed and guarding all the parks. A few nights ago someone came on TV and said the police are picking on the youth, being heavy handed. Well what the hell do you people want. Police or no Police? Can’t have it both ways.

    • Jermain Williams

      Heavy handed is the only way to handle these black gangsters. The moron on TV is the typical ghetto mama crying that her boy is a good boy, the police just be pickin on him cause he ‘s black. We all know that’s a load of BS!!!

      • san

        Jermain I can tell that you are angry. If you have children regardless if they are bad or good, they still belong to you and you love them dearly. As so happened in this case, he was not the intended target. Mostly, what I’m starting to see is people shooting because they have a gun. They don’t know these peoeple. They are just shooting and if you get hurt so what.

        All Gangsters aren’t Black. Latino and Whites as well as Russians are gang members to name a few. Be careful of the racial undertones. Remember America is a melting pot of everything.

      • CB

        Jermain, you don’t know me, I don’t know you, but I could say some pretty hurtful things, right? And whatever I wrote would come across stupid and ignorant, right? You really need to think before you post this kind of stuff. I know the family of this boy, and both of the kids I know really ARE good kids. Both of them are exceptional basketball players, great students, and personable, responsible youth. One of them died in a senseless act of violence. It’s sad. My sympathy is with the family. People really need to stop with this blaming the victim shtick, especially when they don’t know anything about the people affected. RIP Darius Brown.

  • WOZ


  • willieb

    Rahm jobs are needed now.
    Quinn you need to step up efforts to hold surrounding states accountable for the purchase of hand guns.
    Mccarthy you need to crack down on major gun dealers in our communities.

    RIP little man!

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  • AB

    I know one of the family members of Darius and he was a good kid and his mom is a good person with a loving mother. Shame on you Jermain for being judgemental. This is a strong family who I sympathize with. My heart goes out to all of them.

  • san

    People can’t shoot without a gun. We have to make the gun manufaturers responsible for these killings. Where are all the guns coming from? All of these guns are not being gained the legal way. Guns are the big problem.

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