CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Nearly one week after 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee was murdered in cold blood in a South Side alley, his family, friends and the community began saying their final goodbyes Monday.
Inside the Haven of Rest Missionary Baptist Church, Tyshawn was remembered during a visitation. Just seven days earlier, he was a young kid surviving in a rough part of Chicago.
Now, he has become the latest poster child for the epidemic of violence, and a symbol of the frustrations caused by the code of silence that has allowed the killer or killers to remain free.
“Nobody wants to say anything, it's frustrating and the little boy was innocent and he didn't have nothing to do with it, whatever the mother or father had going on, he had nothing to do with it,” said Michael Lee, an extended relative.
In the time since Tyshawn was lured into an alley near 80th and Damen and shot and killed, his memorial burned down, his mother came under fire for using money from a funeral GoFundMe account to buy a car, and his father has refused to cooperate with police even though his alleged gang ties are blamed for Tyshawn's murder.
Father Mike Pfleger, who will conduct the funeral service at St. Sabina Church, knows Tuesday's funeral will be tough.
“From somebody who's lost a child themselves, from dealing with parents all the time who lose children to gun violence, if you don't have faith, I don't know how you get through things like this,” Father Pfleger said.
He's hoping security won't become an issue.
“I think there's gonna be a lot of police presence in the community and around the church tomorrow also so I'm trying not to be concerned about that and focus my attention on my words to the family and really to the community,” Pfleger said.
He wants the killers caught, as does the community.
“You know what there's an old saying, you can run but you can't hide. But if you are long gone you'll be brought back, it's just a matter of time,” said crisis responder Andrew Holmes.
The reward for information that helps police catch the killer or killers stands at $56,000.