Family Says Chicago Teen was Shot Dead Because He was Gay
The family of a Chicago teenager says he was shot and killed during an alleged robbery because he was gay, the Chicago CBS-TV affilitae reports.
According to police, Terrance "Jawan" Wright, 18, was shot and killed on Oct. 19 after five young men tried to rob him. But Wright's family members believe he was murdered because of his sexual orientation. Wright's uncle, Tywayn Bouldin, says the authorities are wrong to label the incident a robbery as the teen had nothing of value on him.
"What they going to rob him of -- his books?" Bouldin told CBS.
"I believe they only did that to him because he was gay," Wright's 16-year-old brother, Javone, said.
Bouldin says his nephew was a victim of bullying and endured harassment inside and outside of school. Wright even transfered schools last year because of the constant harassment.
His uncle wants officials to investigate the murder as a hate crime. "It breaks my heart the way he died because he didn't have to die like that," Essie James, Wright's grandmother told Chicago's WGN TV. "He went to school every day. Jawan loved to dance and to work on the computer."
Other members of Wright's family were equally upset about Wright's death, including the high school student's cousin. "They had to kill my cousin because he was gay. That's crazy," said Kenyatta Rogers. "He's gone. Part of me is gone," Rodgers added.
Police say Wright was attacked on his way home from school and tried to fight off the unknown group of young men before he was shot.
"I was told the boys were picking on Jawan, Jawan was on his way home and the boys just started picking on him and calling him names so they tried to take Jawan's book bag," James told WGN. "So then Jawan and the boys got to fighting. That's when police say one of the boys pulled out a gun and killed Jawan."
Wright's uncle called the robbery "foolishness." The family hopes the police find the culprit soon.
"I don't care if you're gay, straight, blue or purple, you got mad at him because he was living his life and it was different," Bouldin told WGB.
There have been no arrests made in the crime yet and police are not commenting on whether they have decided to classify the incident as a hate crime.