Teen Fatally Shot in Back of the Yards
By Craig Wall (FOX News)
October 23, 2009
A day after her son was shot to death on his way home from school, Lucia Toscano was being consoled in her home, too upset to talk about what happened. Friday night she had to head to the morgue to officially identify her son’s body.
Seventeen-year-old Gamaliel Toscano, who went by the nickname “Gama,” died Thursday from the kind of violence that friends say his mother desperately tried to protect him from. She had been involved in a group called Mothers of Peace, which was founded several years ago to help mothers who have lost children to violence.
“She wanted to learn what to do so that she wouldn’t loose a kid,” said founder Oscar Contreras. “She was always seeking ways to keep her son away from the gangs, and keep her son out of the gangs.”
Outside the family’s home in the 4700 Block of South Bishop, in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, candles burned in a small memorial dotted with pictures of Toscano.
Friends gathered outside in a show of support.
Earlier police canvassed the neighborhood passing out fliers with Toscano’s picture, hoping to generate leads.
Toscano was a 17-year-old junior at Tilden High School. Police said he was walking along South 47th near Racine, when an unknown gunman approached him on foot and fired several shots.
There was no school at Tilden on Friday, but staff members were preparing for Monday when students will return to class, to face the harsh reality of another Chicago teenager falling victim to violence.
“The staff is very upset, during this time. Unfortunately this stuff has become too routine for us,” said Chicago Public Schools Chaplain Reverend Renaldo Kyle.
Toscano loved soccer and had played for years, according to his brother. People who knew Toscano said he wanted to be a chef.