After mother and son killed days apart, Roseland community seeks answers to violence

Asia's Tech News Daily

Kevin Tinker was a quiet boy who cared for his younger siblings and spent a lot of time playing with friends, his elementary school principal said.

On Nov. 21, Kevin’s short life came to an end after the 14-year-old was killed in his Roseland neighborhood. Three days later, his mother was killed as she visited his memorial site, leaving the community grieving and looking for answers.

Kevin was fatally shot in the 200 block of West 110th Place, according to a police notification.

HIs mother, Delisa Tucker, 31, was found Wednesday on the same block lying on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound to the chest, police said in a media alert.

Lavizza Elementary School principal Tracey Stelly organized a community meeting Monday night to discuss solutions to community violence.

Stelly said she had known Tinker since he was a preschooler and he was always a quiet, respectful kid.

He was a diverse learner student at Lavizza who was starting to come out of his shell, she said.

“He watched after his siblings so much,” Stelly said.

Tinker had four younger siblings, two sisters and two brothers, she said.

“He would literally walk them to school every morning and watch over them and make sure they got here safe,” she added.

Stelly said she never saw Tinker disrespect anyone. He spent a lot of free time playing with friends outside.

“That’s what hurts the most because you see him one day and then you don’t see him; his desk is empty in his classroom,” she said. “We expect for him to walk through the door of the school. And then to know that he’s gone.”

Tinker was cared for by his grandmother who was very protective of him, Stelly said.

She said she’s confident police will solve the case.

During the community meeting, Roseland residents expressed worry that police and elected officials have become numb to violence in certain neighborhoods, not responding as quickly when neighbors do call to report crime.

“I’ve lived in this community 42 years and I used to call the police all the time,” one resident said. “And then it got to a point where … I wouldn’t call because there was no response.”

Police detectives assured residents that they respond to calls based on priority, with shootings and domestic violence at the top of that list.

They also asked residents to continue providing tips to help police solve Kevin and Tucker’s homicide, emphasizing that finding the person or people who killed the mother and son will require the community’s help.

At a news conference earlier Monday at the Chicago Police Department’s headquarters in Bronzeville, Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan also asked that anyone who has information on who may have killed Kevin or his mother call police. Tips can be left anonymously.

Deenihan said detectives have gotten some anonymous calls and encouraged the public to continue calling in if they know anything.

“We obviously believe and at this point we think we can prove that the same group of offenders are responsible for both incidents,” Deenihan said. “But due to the fact there are no eye witnesses we are once again asking for the public’s help.”

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