A 14-year-old Austin resident was fatally shot last Saturday for the second time in less than two years, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Last year, Laquan Allen, of the 4200 block of West Augusta Boulevard, was shot in the thigh, but he ultimately recovered from that gunshot wound.
Last Saturday, Allen was standing near a playground in the 4900 block of West Hubbard Street when someone opened fire from a vehicle, hitting the teenager in the buttocks. The incident happened just after 3 p.m.
The McNair Elementary student was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in North Lawndale, where law enforcement officials said “his condition had been stabilized” before he was later pronounced dead, according to the Tribune report.
Luciana Sanders, 40, told Tribune reporters that her son loved playing basketball and had aspirations to play professionally someday.
“He wasn’t no bad kid,” she told reporters. “He likes to do what others do and we speak to him about this. We speak to him about this every day, every month, every chance we get, ‘please stop.'”
According to the Tribune, Sanders said her son was getting pressure from his friends to join a gang and had been in trouble in the past for stealing a car. Sanders said she believes her son was targeted.
“Whoever it is that killed my son, they need to come forward,” Sanders told Tribune reporters. “Even if it was an accident, just please come forward and say that you done it … My son did not deserve this.”
Allen’s murder prompted numerous reactions on Facebook from those who claimed to have known him.
John Kierig, who said that he’s a “former special education teacher” at McNair, “the school where I taught before retiring,” noted that one of his aides called Allen “Skittles.”
“Too often we see the news and then turn the page or click over to the next item, but these are real kids out there being shot at an alarming rate,” Kierig wrote.
Several people shared a photo of Allen, a football player who wore the number 33, posing with his McNair teammates.
According to the Tribune, Allen is “at least the fourth person fatally shot [on the 4900 block of West Hubbard Street] since November 2011, and at least the 15th person shot on the block in that time.”