During a routine traffic stop Saturday, authorities in central Illinois arrested the last of three suspects charged in the execution-style killing of a 9-year-old boy in Chicago.
Kevin Edwards, 23, was wanted in the November 2015 killing of Tyshawn Lee, who is believed to have been targeted as part of an ongoing gang dispute. Officials have said the boy’s father was connected to a rival gang. Two other suspects in Tyshawn’s slaying have been in custody since November.
Around 6:30 p.m. on May 14 in Danville, a deputy stopped a car for a routine traffic violation in a residential neighborhood, said Capt. Michael Hartshorn of the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department. Edwards, a backseat passenger, jumped out and ran, Hartshorn said.
The deputy caught up to Edwards about a block away.
“Edwards initially gave the deputy a false name, but revealed his true identity after arriving at the Vermilion County Jail,” the captain said, adding that Edwards will be transported to Chicago “at a later date.”
On Nov. 2, Tyshawn was shot in the head after he was lured from a playground into an alley, according to prosecutors. Dwright Boone-Doty, 22, allegedly asked Tyshawn to go to the store so he could buy whatever the boy wanted. Prosecutors said Boone-Doty shot Tyshawn in the alley and that he had originally planned to torture him as retaliation.
An autopsy report showed that Tyshawn was shot at close range and bullets hit his thumb, hand, arm and back. His death was “one of the worst” Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said she had ever seen.
The horrific details of Tyshawn’s death rocked a city that is experiencing levels of violence not seen in years. Chicago is on track to have more than 500 killings this year, which has happened just twice before since 2004.
The same weekend Edwards was arrested south of Chicago, nine people were killed in the city, including a 16-year-old girl who was fatally stabbed. At least 231 people have been fatally shot in Chicago in 2016.
Last year, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Tyshawn’s murder “is a crime that shook our city.”
“The assassination of a 9-year-old child,” McCarthy said at the time, was “an act of barbarism.”
Tyshawn’s shooting was connected to a bloody and long-standing rivalry between two gangs, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing law enforcement sources.
Corey Morgan, 27, has also been charged in the boy’s death. Morgan’s brother, Tracey Morgan, was shot and killed weeks before Tyshawn’s death, and his mother was wounded.
Officials had said Tyshawn’s father, Pierre Stokes, is connected to that dispute. But Stokes refuted how police have characterized him. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune last year, Stokes said no one would have a reason to retaliate against him, and that if anyone did, “I’m not hard to find.”
“They’re more worried about me. Why are you worried about me, not the killer?” Stokes told the newspaper. “I’m not the killer. Worry about the killer.”
In 2016, shortly after prosecutors described Boone-Doty’s alleged plans to torture Tyshawn, Stokes allegedly shot Morgan’s girlfriend and two others, the Chicago Tribune reported. He was charged with three counts of aggravated battery.
Well before deputies in Vermilion County arrested Edwards on Saturday, his sister told the Chicago Tribune that she doubted that her brother was involved in the boy’s death. She also urged him to surrender.
“Because, you know, he’s got little brothers, too, see. You know what I’m saying?” Moesha Walker told the newspaper in 2015. “I think he might’ve just been around or been with the person that did it. But I don’t think he did it.”