The family of a 16-year-old boy who was fatally shot last month while walking his dog a block from his Southwest Side home are calling on Chicago Police Supt. David Brown and Mayor Lori Lightfoot to ensure detectives focus more time and effort on solving his murder.
“Please show your face, speak with our family, say something and help us get justice for our brother,” said Joanna Colon, who wore a face mask emblazoned with a picture of her slain sibling, Michael “Mikey” Colon, at a news conference held outside Chicago police headquarters Thursday.
Eighteen friends and family members attended and chanted in Spanish a phrase that translates to “Listen, we’re looking for help.”
Rolando Colon, a truck driver, and Angeles Colon, a cleaner at a downtown hotel — along with several of their seven surviving children — said they’re hurting and can’t rest until those responsible are imprisoned.
They said they’ve spoken to detectives on the case just three times and some calls have gone unreturned, they said.
“We’re hurting even more having to fight and take days off work to solve our own brother’s murder,” said Joanna Colon, who has been independently investigating her brother’s death.
On Thursday she presented a letter pleading for help along with a packet of evidence, including witness statements, to an officer at police headquarters who said they would be delivered to Brown.
The family is also offering a $10,000 reward for anyone with information that would crack the case.
Michael Colon was found unresponsive Sept. 3 about 9:35 p.m. by officers responding to a call of shots fired in the 3200 block of West 38th Place in the Brighton Park neighborhood, police said. He had gunshot wounds all over his body and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said a white SUV was seen in the area just before the gunshots were fired, and sped away right after.
Video from surveillance cameras on the block captured the shooting, and the moments before the gunshots, when Colon was singing a love song in Spanish while walking his dog, Bobi, according to Joanna Colon.
“We don’t know for sure why this happened,” she said, adding that her siblings and parents are confident members of a gang pulled the trigger, possibly due to a case of mistaken identity.
“My brother was not in a gang. He was a good kid. He was about to start his junior year at Kelly High School and was looking forward to playing football,” his sister said.
“And he was about to start a job at a car wash the next day. That night my mom told him ‘Just go to bed, you have to work tomorrow,’ and he was like ‘I’ll be back mom, I’m just going to take the dog for a walk.’ And he never came back,” she said.
The teen loved anime, his dog, dancing at quinceanera parties and was “just an overall happy boy,” she said.
Family members expressed frustration in their belief that extra police attention to downtown in recent weeks following several rounds of looting this summer has decreased policing in other neighborhoods.
Chicago Police spokesman Sgt. Rocco Alioto said in an email Thursday night, “This investigation remains open and active as detectives continue to evaluate evidence and investigative leads. If anyone has information, they can contact Area 1 Detectives at 312-747-8380.”