Cornelius German, 15, Shot to Death 4 Blocks from Obama’s Chicago Home
A 15-year-old Chicago boy was found shot to death in a backyard Monday night just four blocks away from President Barack Obama’s home on the city’s South Side.
Chicago police have identified the slain teen as Cornelius German, a student at Kenwood Academy. According to police, Cornelius was shot in the back in what they believe was a gang-related incident.
Timika Rutledge, the boy’s mother, told the Chicago Tribune that she did not believe her son was a gang member.
“I knew they were going to say gang-related,” Rutledge told the paper. “He hung out with gang members but I don’t think he was part of a gang.”
According to the Tribune, Cornelius told his mother that he was afraid to wait for her to pick him up at a bus stop because of all the shootings that have occurred in the area lately. The most publicized of these was the January killing of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, a Kenwood girl who attended King College Prep High School and who had just performed with her school drill team at President Obama’s second inauguration in Washington, DC days before she was shot to death.
When Rutledge and the boy’s father drove to a neighborhood home to pick him up, police were already on the scene.
“I saw an officer and I stopped him and asked, ‘Officer, what’s going on?'” Rutledge told the Tribune.
“A kid got shot in the back,” the officer replied.
Cornelius was reportedly hanging out in the backyard of the home in the 5000 block of South Evans Avenue, playing dice when gunshots rang out at around 9:30 p.m.
As of Tuesday morning police had made no arrests, nor did they have any description of the shooter.
Cornelius, who was known as “Cornbread,” was described by his mother as “very charming, very charismatic.”
“When he would enter a room, his smile would radiate,” she told the Tribune. “He wasn’t selfish. He was kind.”
Rutledge added that “he liked math. He got it, he really got it.”
Cornelius wanted to be a professional football player when he grew up.
The White House issued a statement regarding the teen’s death.
“The President and First Lady were saddened to learn of yet another young victim of gun violence in their hometown of Chicago,” White House spokeswoman Joanna Rosholm said. “The President remains committed to pressuring Congress to pass common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence.”