Mother: ‘When I went to the morgue … it sunk in what happened’

By Jessica Koscielniak and Emily Gray Brosious
Originally published at Homicide Watch Chicago
June 18, 2014

Brandon Peterson “loved to dance” with his friends, family said.

Brandon, 17, was with those friends when he was shot in the head and leg while standing in a group in the 3100 block of West Polk Street in East Garfield Park about 12:05 a.m. Sunday, authorities said.

“I heard the gunshots and my daughter went out,” Brandon’s mother, Alicia Jefferson said. “She came in saying, ‘It’s my brother! It’s my brother!’”

Jefferson said she ran outside and saw her son’s lifeless body on the ground.

Brandon died a short time later at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

“I wouldn’t have thought this would happen in a million years, because he wasn’t a bad kid. He wasn’t a bad kid at all,” Jefferson said. “When I went to the morgue … to identify his body, it sunk in what happened.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 12.27.54 AMBrandon had been at a party near his home in the 3000 block of West Polk Street before being shot, said his brother, Lamont Peterson.

“He and his crew, they loved to dance,” Lamont Peterson said. “That’s all they would do.”

In addition to dancing, Brandon loved sports, his mother said.

“He played everything — tag football, regular football, race running, track baseball, football, basketball, soccer too,” she said.

Lamont Peterson said he will miss his brother’s smile and sharing bedroom.

“We had fun just doing what brothers do best,” Lamont Peterson said. “Loving each other, taking care of each other, having fun together,”

As a teenager, Brandon had gotten into trouble and was facing a gun possession charge, Lamont Peterson said. His mother said he bought the gun to protect himself.

“He ain’t never killed nobody, he ain’t never shot nobody. He ain’t never done nothing wrong for that man to do that,” Lamont Peterson said. “I never thought I would lose him because he wasn’t in the streets like a typical gang banger.”

Lamont Peterson said his brother had been trying to stay out of trouble since the gun possession charge.

“You can’t blame him for being a kid,” Lamont Peterson said. “Kids like to have fun. Until they get older, then they take things seriously. But they didn’t give my brother no time to get older. That man could have been something.”

Jefferson said her son was not a gang member, but his friends called their group “Shorty Mob.” She thinks her son’s death was related to his social group.

“Other boys were just jealous because he would fight,” Jefferson said.

“See now, they’ll rather shoot you than fight you. Nowadays, they ain’t fight — they shoot.”

Family members said they had an idea of who the shooter was but nobody has yet been charged for the murder. Area North detectives are investigating.

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