CHICAGO (CBS) — Loved ones said goodbye Tuesday morning to a 9-year-old boy who was shot and killed in what police called a gang-related execution.
Tyshawn Lee’s funeral got underway at 11 a.m. at Saint Sabina Church. Mourners began filing in around 10 a.m., to pay their final respects.
Tyshawn was shot and killed last week in an alley near 80th Street and Damen Avenue. Police have said he was lured into the alley, and executed, because of his father’s gang ties, and a recent series of shootings between rival gangs.
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy has called Tyshawn’s slaying “probably the most abhorrent, cowardly, unfathomable crime” he has seen in 35 years in law enforcement.
Rev. Michael Pfleger told the packed church they were meeting at the intersection of pain and anger.
“This is the face and the reality of evil,” he said.
Mourners remembered the 4th grader at Joplin Elementary School as a typical child who loved playing basketball, and dreamed of playing in the NBA so he could buy his mom a new house.
“Tyshawn was creative, charming, helpful, and had an imagination out of this world,” Joplin Elementary principal Alene Mason said.
Friends and loved ones said Tyshawn loved fried chicken, Sour Patch Kids candy, and playing video games on his Xbox.
One of Tyshawn’s classmates brought a basketball to the funeral, along with a note saying he’ll be missed.
“Tyshawn, my friend, I am going to miss you. You will always be my friend. See you later. Demetrius. Hope you like your ball. Bye friend,” Demetrius Alexander had written on the basketball.
His death has affected not only the Auburn-Gresham community where he lived, but the entire nation. Some have called his slaying a new low for the city of Chicago.