Fatal shooting of teenager closes deadliest May in Chicago in 21 years


By Alexandra Chachkevitch and Rosemary Regina Sobol, Chicago Tribune

The gray sedan was parked in the ambulance bay of the hospital, its doors open and bullet holes just above and below the driver’s side window.

Minutes earlier, 15-year-old Fabian Lavinder was in the car on 89th Street when another car pulled up and someone shot him in the chest. The driver took the boy to Advocate Trinity Hospital, where he died shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Lavinder was the 66th and final homicide for last month, the deadliest May in Chicago since 1995, when 75 were recorded, according to police records. He was among nearly 400 people shot last month.


The month’s toll was fueled by a Memorial Day weekend that saw six killed and 63 wounded, and a Mother’s Day weekend when more than 50 people were shot, eight fatally, in the most violent weekend since September. That brought the total number of people shot in Chicago so far this year to more than 1,500. At least 250 of them died.

In 1995, there were 320 murders at this time, police data show. A closer month for comparison is May 1998, when there were 65 murders for the month and 269 so far that year — not much higher that this year’s total, according to department data. There were 704 murders that entire year, police said.

Tuesday night, police wrapped yellow crime tape around the sedan after Fabian was taken into Trinity Hospital. More than a dozen relatives and friends stood near the emergency entrance. They hugged, cried and smoked cigarettes.

A man in a black T-shirt and jeans walked back and forth on the sidewalk across from the hospital. He held his head in his hands as he sobbed.

“We should have just stayed in the ‘burbs, man,” he said to no one in particular. “We should have just stayed in the ‘burbs. … This is bogus.”

A woman in a gray T-shirt and long jean shorts walked out of the emergency room and started crying and breathing heavily. She and other relatives and friends walked up to the man in the black T-shirt.

“He was in that car?” she asked, pointing at the sedan. “And they just shot it up?”


The man nodded yes.

The woman’s wailing grew louder. She said the 15-year-old was her brother. A woman in a white T-shirt put her arms around her shoulders, consoling her.

As time passed, more relatives walked in and out of the hospital.

A woman in dark shorts and a white-black top came out. She started walking toward the gray car, crying. Her sister, the woman in the gray T-shirt, put her arms around her, holding her back.

“All I want to know is where my little brother is,” the woman yelled. “I just want to see him.”

The two sisters hugged after a moment, sobbing together.

Pamela Johnson, 44, a friend of the family, stood nearby with crossed arms, shaking her head.

“We need martial law. Period,” Johnson said. “If it’s to protect our children, then so be it. … There is a difference between Millennium Park and 95th Street.”

(c)2016 Chicago Tribune

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