Reporting Mike Puccinelli
CHICAGO (CBS) — Police are calling it a robbery, but the family of an 18-year-old murder victim says his death wasn’t about money or valuables.
On Friday Terrance Wright lost his life at 99th and Yates on Chicago’s South Side.
Javone Wright, Terrance’s younger brother, says what makes the pain even worse for the family is why they believe the high school senior was killed.
“I believe they only did that to him because he was gay,” said 16-year-old Javone Wright.
Police say that a group of unknown individuals attempted to rob Terrance by rifling through his pockets and backpack.
Wright’s uncle, Tywan Bouldin, says the robbery theory is wrong because Wright had nothing of value on him when he was killed.
“What they going to rob him of–his books?” asked Bouldin.
He says Terrance was bullied both inside and outside school.
He says his nephew was shot because he was gay. He wants the crime investigated as a hate crime.
Terrance had transferred to Banner Academy last year after his family says he was relentlessly picked on at his previous school.
But they say there was no escaping the bullies.
“They had to kill my cousin because he was gay. That’s crazy,” said Kenyatta Rogers.
And they say when the bullet stopped Terrance’s heart, it also took away the heart of the family.
“My heart is broken,” said his grandmother Essie James, who had raised Terrance for half his life.
“He’s gone. Part of me is gone,” said Rogers as she wiped back tears.
So far no one has been arrested. Police aren’t commenting on the hate crime allegations.