Nine-year-old Tyshawn Lee was walking on Chicago's south side when he was lured into an alley and killed, but his father, whose alleged gang ties are believed to have played a role in the boy's murder, won't talk, according to disgusted police who on Friday pleaded for the community to help identify the killer.
Authorities also called on the child's father, Pierre Stokes, to cooperate with them in solving the murder Monday that they described as "absolutely hateful."
"Let me be clear that Mr. Stokes is a parent who lost his son," Anthony Guglielmi, chief spokesman of the Chicago Police Department, told FoxNews.com. "But he potentially knows who did this. He potentially knows the background of the feud he was involved in."
As of Friday morning, according to police, Stokes was not cooperating. "He emphatically communicated he has nothing to tell us," Guglielmi said.
"It’s so heinous that a criminal enterprise would target the child of another gang member."
- Anthony Guglielmi, chief spokesman of the Chicago Police Department
Guglielmi's remarks come a day after the Chicago Police Department released chilling details about the child's murder. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told reporters during a press conference Thursday that Tyshawn was targeted because of recent violence between two gangs, one of which his father is a member.
Tyshawn, an elementary school student, was walking to a relative's home at approximately 4:30 p.m. Monday when the killer or killers lured him from a nearby park and into a neighborhood alley on the 8000 block of S. Damen Ave., where he was shot in the head and back.
"It’s so heinous that a criminal enterprise would target the child of another gang member," Guglielmi told FoxNews.com. "It's gone to another level that, frankly, Chicago hasn’t seen in a very long time."
Guglielmi said investigators initially thought the boy might have been "in the wrong place at the wrong time." But the shock of the child's murder prompted members of the community to come forward with information about his father's gang affiliation.
Guglielmi said he knows the gangs involved but, "We need more people to come forward."
"This case is going to break on community intelligence," he said, noting a 35,000 reward that is being offered for any information leading to an arrest. "We are going to find out who did this. We are going hold them accountable."
A local Catholic priest has also said he's committed to justice for the boy -- and offered to pay money out of his own pocket to help anyone with information move from Chicago.
The Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of Chicago's St. Sabina Church and a well-known anti-violence activist, started a GoFundMe account to raise additional reward money from people around the country.
"This was not a drive-by. This was not a spray of bullets. A baby was executed," Pfleger told Tthe Associated Press. "We have gone to a new low that's removed what used to be some codes, some barriers, some lines that used to be drawn in the community, some things in our city that were not acceptable."
Guglielmi verified the "Save Our Children – St. Sabina" GoFundMe page and said he hopes Pfleger's efforts might help crack the case. As of Friday afternoon, the account had raised $1,390 of its $50,000 goal.
Anyone with information about the murder of Tyshawn Lee is urged to call detectives at 312-747-8275.