Curtis Wilson was known for hosting parties on his West Side block, and had been planning to spend Memorial Day evening barbecuing with neighbors.
“Everybody loved him,” Debra Wilson said of her stepson. “He was sweet as gold.”
She spoke in the parking lot of Stroger Hospital, surrounded by hundreds of people who gathered there Monday night after hearing Wilson had been shot dead.
Wilson, 40, was shot several times around 7:10 p.m. in the 700 block of North Spaulding Avenue when someone on the sidewalk fired at the car he was in, according to family members and Chicago police.
He was pronounced dead minutes later at Stroger.
At the corner of Spaulding and Chicago avenues, a silver Nissan Altima sat smashed against a building while police investigated. There were at least 13 bullet holes in the passenger side windows. Dozens of evidence markers littered the block.
“He was the type of person that threw good parties on the block. He had barbecues, treated the kids right, he was just a good person,” Debra Wilson said, noting that her stepson was sometimes called “Curty Man.”
She said she had seen her stepson only a few hours before the shooting and he was about to start grilling meat for the party. But she and Wilson’s father left the barbecue early, and that would be the last time she saw him.
“He just had a good heart, he was good to everybody,” she said.
Community activist Andrew Holmes implored the community to come together and share any information that could lead to the gunman’s arrest.
“This young man lost his life on Memorial Day. Memorial Day will never be the same for this family, so we pray for this family,” Holmes told the Sun-Times outside the hospital.
Holmes decried the violence that he says seems to go hand-in-hand with holidays in the city, depriving revelers a chance to enjoy time with their loved ones.
“The holiday weekends are not the same. The Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day. When you look at it, how can it be a holiday weekend when we have an increase in shootings?,” he said. “You can’t enjoy them.”
Wilson and two other people were killed and 34 others were wounded in shootings in Chicago over the weekend. He was the lone fatal shooting on the West Side.