Person of Interest Released in Murder of 9-Year-Old Tyshawn Lee

Photo gallery: Tyshawn Lee, 9, was killed in a shooting at 4:15 p.m. Monday in the 8000 block of South Damen Avenue in the Gresham neighborhood. Police said the child was shot in the head and back.
Photo gallery: Tyshawn Lee, 9, was killed in a shooting at 4:15 p.m. Monday in the 8000 block of South Damen Avenue in the Gresham neighborhood. Police said the child was shot in the head and back.

Chicago police detectives released a person of interest they questioned Wednesday night in the slaying of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee in an alley in the Gresham neighborhood on the South Side.

Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for Superintendent Garry McCarthy, confirmed a lawyer accompanied the person to Area South police headquarters to be interviewed by detectives about the Monday afternoon killing that has galvanized Chicago.

The person was released sometime between late Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning, police said.

Lawyer Sam Adam Jr. accompanied the person of interest to Area South police headquarters Wednesday.

Adam, who has represented such high-profile figures as R&B singer R. Kelly and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, was contacted by a detective and a family member of the person of interest before going to the police station.

During a brief telephone interview with the Tribune Thursday morning, Adam wouldn’t identify the person of interest, nor could he say why detectives wanted to speak with that individual. But the lawyer said he helped that person out because of the increased hostility that has erupted or may erupt on the streets in light of Tyshawn’s slaying.

“We can’t afford more violence,” said Adam.

Law enforcement sources have told the Tribune that police are looking into whether Tyshawn was killed in retaliation for his father’s alleged role in a gang rivalry that resulted in at least two recent slayings on the South Side and the wounding of a reputed gang member’s mother.

In an interview Tuesday night with the Tribune, Tyshawn’s father, Pierre Stokes, denied anyone 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, he or she could find the opportunity, he said.

“I’m not hard to find,” Stokes said.

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Source: Chicago Tribune | Jeremy Gorner