The past few months have been unbelievably cruel to Shronda Parsons and her family.
In February, her 31-year-old nephew Darrien Wilson, a “humble, lovable young man,” was shot and killed in South Shore. And Sunday — barely four months later — another nephew, Marcel “Little” Hannah, was fatally shot in Woodlawn on the South Side.
Hannah, 30, was a quiet guy who mostly kept to himself, Parsons said, though he loved being around his family, who called him “Little” because his father was “Big Marcel.” He was a “very charismatic, loving, kind and respectful” person who lived for football and worked two jobs — one as a warehouse order taker at a Dr. Pepper facility in Northlake and the other as a manager at the Willis Tower Skydeck, Parsons said.
Hannah was shot about 3 a.m. Sunday in the 6600 block of South Evans Avenue, Chicago police said. A spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed his identity.
Parsons doesn’t know why someone would have wanted to hurt her nephew. She said he steered clear of violence or confrontation, and that his only criminal history amounted to an incident where he was found in a stolen vehicle with a friend.
“Young men can have issues and get locked up, sometimes for a good reason and sometimes not, but Marcel wasn’t that type of person,” she said. “For him to die this way and he didn’t live like that, it’s extremely upsetting.”
A search of Cook County court records show a 2006 charge for criminal trespass to a vehicle and building, as well as a few minor gambling charges. Police sources said Hannah was not “known to police.”
Police say Hannah got into an argument with someone in a blue Chevy Impala and was shot in the head. But Parsons says that doesn’t line up with what she heard from Hannah’s brother, who was on the phone with him at the time of the shooting.
Parsons said Hannah had taken an Uber to his girlfriend’s house in Woodlawn earlier that evening. Then, just before the shooting occurred, he called his brother saying he needed to be picked up because some men were trying to jump him.
He was outside her home when Hannah’s brother heard him shout something along the lines of “what the f—k” followed by seven gunshots, Parsons said. Hannah’s brother said the only argument he heard was between Hannah and his girlfriend. He knew his brother was dead because of the ensuing silence on the other end of the phone. Parsons said she wants police to question Hannah’s girlfriend, but she doesn’t know her personally.
A “drug addict” who was nearby attempted to keep Hannah breathing while paramedics rushed to the scene, but there wasn’t much they could do, Parsons said. He was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition and pronounced dead shortly after.
Hannah had taken his cousin Darrien’s death extremely hard, Parsons said.
“They were together 24/7 growing up, they used to tell people they were brothers,” Parsons said. “He stopped coming around after Darrien died. Memorial Day he didn’t come around, when we passed out fliers for Darrien he didn’t come. He was having a really hard time dealing.”
Despite losing his cousin, Hannah continued to work toward his goal of being an accountant, the subject he studied at DePaul University after getting his associate’s degree from Kennedy-King College, Parsons said. A “hardworking and very intelligent person,” Hannah had been busy lately sending in applications to state jobs.
Now, the family is trying to understand how they’ll move forward after losing two family members in the span of just a few months, Parsons said.
“We’re very traumatized by this, coping as best as we can. But it’s not good because we were already grieving Darrien,” Parsons said. “It’s just like one thing on top of the other.”
When Wilson was killed in February, Parsons said she got the sense the police department wasn’t taking the case particularly seriously, citing their investigation of the reported attack on “Empire” star Jussie Smollett as an example of their misplaced priorities. She’s worried the same thing will happen in Hannah’s case.
“They have Marcel’s phone, but no one is in custody,” Parsons said. “It’s probably going to be the same thing.”
The family, for their part, are making arrangements for Hannah’s funeral, Parsons said. Mostly, though, they are trying to process the losses the last few months have brought them.
“We’re just trying to make it through,” Parsons said.