By Thomas Vogel
The man charged Monday for the grisly killing of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee in November made incriminating statements while in police custody, boasting about the murder and describing plans to write a rap song about it, city and county officials revealed Tuesday.
During a press conference at Chicago police headquarters, however, authorities declined to reveal any more details about statements made by Dwright Boone-Doty, a 22-year-old Grand Crossing man already in custody on an unrelated weapons charge.
“This case stands out front and center,” said Interim Chicago Police Supt. John Escalante. “We hope this development will bring closure.”
While shootings are not uncommon on the South Side, Tyshawn’s killing was particularly shocking to city residents. The boy was playing basketball and using a swing set at Dawes Park in the city’s Auburn Gresham community when Doty lured him into a nearby alley before shooting him in the head, authorities said.
Coincidentally, the charges against Doty come just one week before the March 15 primary for the embattled Cook County state’s attorney’s office. In her upstart campaign, challenger Kim Foxx has stressed the importance of resurrecting public trust in city government, the prosecutor’s office and law enforcement, qualities she and other critics said were lost through several controversial decisions by incumbent State’s Atty. Anita Alvarez.
Specifically, Alvarez critics argue her office has bowed to political considerations over effectively administering criminal justice, pointing to the delayed prosecution of a Chicago policeman caught on video shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014. Alvarez’s office did not charge the officer until after Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2015 re-election bid.
Escalante repeatedly thanked the coalition of law enforcement officials, including the FBI, for their efforts in identifying Tyshawn’s killer.
“This team stopped at nothing to bring justice to Tyshawn,” Escalante said. “They all worked very hard.”
Alvarez outlined details of the November killing, saying Doty lured Tyshawn into an alleyway by offering to buy the child “whatever he wanted” at a nearby store. Alvarez also said Doty’s original plan was to torture Tyshawn and also target his grandmother.
“I’ve tried hundreds of cases involving gang violence,” Alvarez said. “I must tell you, I’ve never been more disgusted.”
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) described a “chill going down my spine” as he heard officials describe the new details of the killing: “I hope this is a foundation for better police and community relations,” Rush said. “We need each other.”
Doty is not the only suspect charged in Tyshawn’s shooting. Just a few weeks after Tyshawn’s killing, prosecutors charged another man, Corey Morgan, with murder.
Authorities speculated Tyshawn’s killing was retaliation in an ongoing gang feud in Auburn Gresham. In an earlier October 2015 shooting, Morgan’s 25-year-old brother, Tracey died.
Law enforcement said Pierre Stokes, Lee’s father, has gang-ties to the group responsible for Morgan’s killing. Authorities said Stokes eventually cooperated in the Tyshawn investigation.
A third man, Kevin Edwards, remains at large with an active arrest warrant. Ninth District Police Cmdr. Eugene Roy said the department is pursuing several leads and asked for Edwards to “do the right thing” and turn himself in to authorities.
James Milton, 73, said the charges against Doty don’t offer any closure, instead saying the boy’s killers should be executed.
“He’s gone forever,” said Milton, a Bronzeville native. “He was just a 9-year-old boy.”