Tyshawn Lee

Tyshawn Lee

*Outrage has been expressed across social media over the vicious murder of a 9-year-old boy in Chicago.

In a press conference Thursday, Chicago police officials said Tyshawn Lee was lured into a South Side alley Monday afternoon and executed, targeted because of his father’s gang ties, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The fourth-grader at Joplin Elementary School, who loved to play basketball, was walking to his grandmother’s house Monday afternoon when police said he was lured into the alley in the 8000 block of South Damen Ave. and shot repeatedly. A basketball he always carried with him was found nearby.

Speaking Thursday at the edge of the alley where Tyshawn was found, Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy called the slaying “probably the most abhorrent, cowardly, unfathomable crime” he had seen in his 35 years in law enforcement.

McCarthy said police believe Tyshawn was killed as part of a recent series of shootings between rival gangs — the Gangster Disciples and the Black P Stones, sources told the Tribune. Police believe the Terror Dome faction of the Black P Stones targeted Pierre Stokes’ son because his father, a convicted felon, reputedly belongs to the Gangster Disciples’ Killa Ward faction.

McCarthy told reporters that Stokes might know who killed his son but that he has refused to cooperate with police. When investigators approached him, Stokes responded with words that “you can’t say … on TV,” McCarthy said.

Pierre Stokes

Pierre Stokes

Stokes, who lives a few blocks away, was talking to a Chicago police officer near the scene of his son’s killing when McCarthy’s news conference ended. Reporters asked him to respond to McCarthy’s comments.

“No, I don’t think it was no retaliation because I never did nothing to — for nobody to hurt my son,” he said.

Asked if he had the names of any suspects he could provide police, he answered, “No, I do not.”

Earlier in the week, Stokes, 25, told the Tribune no one would have a motive to kill him, but if someone did there was no reason to take it out on his son because he’s out in the neighborhood all the time. If anyone wanted to harm him, it wouldn’t be difficult, he said.

“I’m not hard to find,” Stokes said.