Sister of 14-year-old boy fatally shot in South Chicago says 'he was a baby'

His family couldn’t afford a party for Ronald Nolton on his 14th birthday, but they still came together to celebrate earlier this month.

It had not been an easy year for Ronald, who lost his mother the previous spring and had to leave his home in Waukegan and move in with relatives on the South Side of Chicago.

"When we moved and my mom passed away, everything changed, his whole life changed," his older sister Paulina Nolton told the Sun-Times. "A part of him left with her."

On the afternoon of April 20, just four days after his birthday, Ronald was in a car in the 2300 block of East 80th Street when someone shot him in the chest, according to Chicago police. He was taken to South Shore Hospital down the block and pronounced dead.


"He was a baby," Nolton said, "I wanted to go with my brother…but I’ve got to be strong. I can’t think like that."

At least 4 other children under the age of 15 have been killed in shootings in Chicago so far this year. Charity Johnson, 14, died just days before Ronald after being shot on the West Side. She was two days shy of her 15th birthday.

Ronald and his sister grew up in Waukegan but, after their mother died, Ronald started living with his older brother while Nolton struggled to find housing.

Ronald had entered 8th grade at a new school in Chicago but did not know many people, his sister said. Nolton wanted Ronald to move back out to the suburbs but said he liked living in the city. He loved rapping and wanted to pursue a career in music.

A number of blogs and social media accounts dedicated to hip-hop music have covered Ronald’s killing, reporting that the teen went by the name Lil Ronald. Many of these posts have been upsetting for Nolton, who said her brother loved rapping in his free time but spent every day in the classroom.

"You’ve got this 13-year-old child walking around who lost his mom and it’s taking a toll on him," Nolton said. "It’s hard, your whole life has changed. You’ve got to go through things you don’t want to go through as a child."

Balloon releases were organized at Ronald’s old school in Waukegan and the new school on the South Side. As the oldest sibling, Nolton has organized services for Ronald and is working to find money for a repast, while she herself remains homeless and in search of housing.

Nolton said she has not been given any updates from police. The homicide remains under investigation.