Boy fatally shot after running off because he couldn’t have cupcake: mom
BY JON SEIDEL Staff Reporter August 21, 2014 6:28PM
Antonio Smith, 9, was shot to death Aug. 20 in Chicago. | Family photo
Updated: September 23, 2014 6:28AM
Brandi Murry’s little boy just wanted a cupcake.
Antonio Smith, her outgoing and “never quiet” 9-year-old son, called to ask his mother for the treat Wednesday afternoon.
Murry said she was on her way home from work. And she denied her son’s request.
But Antonio got upset, Murry said. And her 12-year-old son called at 3:45 p.m. to say Antonio had fled the family’s new apartment in the 1100 block of East 73rd Street.
Twenty minutes later, Chicago police found Antonio behind a home in the 1200 block of East 71st Street. They said he had been shot multiple times.
Antonio was pronounced dead at Comer Children’s Hospital at 5:13 p.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.
“He got mad because I didn’t give him what he wanted,” Murry, 34, told the Chicago Sun-Times as she recounted the events that led to the death of the boy she called “Duke.”
Murry’s 12-year-old son tried to chase Antonio when he ran away, she said. But the older boy wasn’t wearing shoes and lost him. She said she also tried to search for her son, but she ultimately reported him missing at 4:08 p.m.
Police were at her door five minutes later, she said, telling her to go to the hospital.
Antonio’s shooting death visibly shook his new neighbors in Chicago’s Grand Crossing neighborhood.
“My little brother’s only 11,” neighbor Tray Allen said. “It makes me want to get stricter and stricter and stricter on my little brother. Just because they’re out there killing people.”
The Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Parish, urged people to gather for a prayer rally at 6 p.m. Thursday in the 1200 block of East 71st. He said a $5,000 reward would be offered for information leading to the arrest of Antonio’s killer.
He said the boy’s slaying “can’t be tolerated.”
“Especially a 9-year-old child,” he added. “It’s just ridiculous.”
Rosetta Jordan, 81, who lives on the block where Antonio was found, said her 45-year-old son heard gunshots Wednesday night. He ordered his 9-year-old son to the basement before investigating. He found a “neatly dressed” boy lying in the backyard of a neighboring apartment building.
“I’m still shaking,” Jordan said Wednesday evening. “It’s just so sad.”
Murry said Antonio loved to dance, and his favorite artist was Chris Brown.
She nicknamed the boy “Marmaduke” when he was born. The moniker morphed into “Duke.” Other people called him “Hamburger,” she said, because “he loved hamburgers.”
The family moved to the apartment in the 1100 block of 73rd in May, Murry said. But Antonio was excited to return to Hinton Elementary School, where he would soon start fourth grade. His favorite subject was reading, she said, and he “kind of liked” math and science.
But he loved telling jokes, she said. Some of them weren’t even funny, Murry said. But her little boy laughed anyway.
“All he did was joke and laugh and play,” his mother said.
Contributing: Mitch Dudek