Updated: November 16, 2011 1:28AM
The teen was just days from a court hearing that could see him moving to Milwaukee with his sister. But instead, 14-year-old Joseph Price was gunned down as he walked to his brother’s home Sunday afternoon in the Austin neighborhood.
Price, who lived in a temporary home for troubled teens, was fatally shot about 2 p.m. in the 500 block of North Long, authorities said.
Guyland Hill, Price’s guardian, was cooking dinner at the group home in the 600 block of North Laramie when he heard people shuffle to a street corner. By the time Hill arrived, police were ushering him into a squad to get him to Mount Sinai Hospital, where the teen died 20 minutes later.
“I had to identify him,” Hill said. “I just couldn’t believe it. I watch the news and I see things, but it’s hard when you have to look at a kid and you see a hole in his head.”
Witnesses said someone walked up to Price, fired shots, then watched Price fall. The male suspect then came closer and shot the teen in the head before walking away. On Sunday evening, police walked around the neighborhood with a picture of the alleged attacker in the gang-motivated shooting.
Hill said of Price: “He looked 12. He acted like a kid. He wasn’t really street smart. And if he was in a gang, he didn’t display it here.”
Price, originally from Maywood, was at the Laramie home until authorities could find a relative he could live with. The teen had hoped to move to Milwaukee, Hill said.
Renee Cobb, Price’s mentor, said: “He was trying. He had a troubled past. But he was meeting more positive people and we were trying to get him motivated to do the right thing.”
Contributing: Victoria Johnson, Rosemary Sobol