An 18-year-old Chicago high school student was shot and killed during what police have described as a routine robbery. But Terrance "Jawan" Wright's family says it was a hate crime and the teen was targeted because he was gay.
The tragic incident happened Friday after school on the city's South Side, reports The Chicago Tribune.
A senior at Banner Academy South in the 2300 block of East 99th Street, Wright was approached by five would-be robbers about 3:40 p.m., police said. One assailant went through the pockets of the victim, who fought back and was shot in the chest, police said. He was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
The family says the teen was repeatedly bullied because he was gay, reports CBS 2.
Wright’s uncle, Tywan Bouldin, says the robbery theory is wrong because Wright had nothing of value on him when he was killed. He says his nephew was shot because he was gay. He wants the crime investigated as a hate crime.
Terrance had transferred to Banner Academy last year after his family says he was relentlessly picked on at his previous school.But they say there was no escaping the bullies. "They had to kill my cousin because he was gay. That’s crazy," said Kenyatta Rogers.
"My heart is broken," said his grandmother Essie James, who had raised Terrance for half his life. "He’s gone. Part of me is gone,” said Rogers as she wiped back tears.
There have been no arrests. Detectives reportedly have identified two "persons of interest," reports the Tribune.
"Since 2008, more than 530 youth have been killed in Chicago," according to The Chicago Reporter. "Nearly 80 percent of the homicides have occurred" in Black or Latinos neighborhoods on the South or West Sides.
Watch CBS 2 and WGN-TV's reports AFTER THE JUMP ...