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Boy, 15, brain dead after drive-by that wounded mom

A 15-year-old boy  was critically injured when he his mother were shot while walking intheir West Side Garfield Park

A 15-year-old boy was critically injured when he and his mother were shot while walking into their West Side Garfield Park home at 732 N. Springfield. The front of the home had several bullet holes, including one in the front door. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

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Updated: January 8, 2012 1:15AM

For the better part of three weeks, somebody seemed to have it in for 732 North Springfield.

First there was the suspicious fire, being investigated as a possible arson, that woke the West Side block after 2 a.m.

Then, in the days that followed, a hail of bullets targeted the single family home, neighbors say.

Finally, at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon, a drive-by gunman in a cream-colored car hit someone who lived there.

But detectives do not believe 15-year-old Antonio Johnson and his mother, Annette Johnson, were the shooter’s targets, a police source said.

Antonio, a student at Marshall Metro High School who has an older brother, was shot in the head and declared brain dead at 10 p.m. Sunday, according to the medical examiner.

His mother was shot in the arm and underwent surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital but is expected to survive, friends said.

She remained at her brain-dead son’s side Monday as doctors kept him on life support so that they could harvest his organs.

A keen student and linebacker on the Marshall football team, Antonio was “all about business and his academics,” said his former dean, Derrick Bass.

“He was a very good student who hung out with a good crowd of kids and flew under the radar,” Bass added.

Antonio was talking to his mother on the porch as she unloaded some groceries when someone yelled from a passing car and opened fire, his shocked girlfriend Diamond Carr said.

He turned for the door and was hit in the side of the head, she added, describing Antonio as “a happy, funny person.”

He had not mentioned the earlier attacks on his home, she said.

But bullet holes in the Johnsons’ windows and front door Monday marked the spot where he fell.

And a lingering smoky smell and charred black outer brickwork at the back of the Johnsons’ house Monday were evidence of a Sept. 11 fire that neighbors are convinced was arson.

Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire

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