BY JON SEIDEL AND MITCH DUDEK
Antonio Smith wanted a cupcake.
He’d called his mom while she was on her way home from work, asking to have one.
She said no.
So the 9-year-old ran out of his family’s apartment in the 1100 block of East 73rd Street.
About half an hour later, he was on the way to the hospital, where he would die.
Chicago Police responding to a report of shots fired at 4:05 p.m. Wednesday found Antonio in the back yard of an apartment building in the 1200 block of East 71st Street in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood.
“He got mad because I didn’t give him what he wanted,” a somber Brandi Murry said Thursday afternoon, recounting what she knew of her son’s death.
After Antonio fled the apartment, his 12-year-old brother gave chase. But he wasn’t wearing shoes, and he quickly lost him, Murry said.
He returned to the apartment and called his mother about 3:45 p.m. Wednesday to tell her Antonio had run off, Murry said. She was nearby, so she looked, too.
When she couldn’t find him, she said, she called the police. That call was made at 4:08 p.m. Wednesday.
Five minutes later, the police were at her door, telling her she needed to get to the hospital.
Antonio was pronounced dead at Comer Children’s Hospital at 5:13 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
He had been shot multiple times, according to police and the medical examiner’s office.
“I just want whoever did it to turn themselves in, because he was a 9-year-old innocent baby and he didn’t deserve that,” the victim’s cousin, Rasheda Eggleston, told NBC Chicago.
“He was just a child, just a baby, had a whole life ahead of him,” another cousin, Kenya Eggleston, said.
Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina parish, urged people to gather for a prayer rally at 6 p.m. Thursday in the 1200 block of East 71st.
Pfleger said a $5,000 reward will be offered for information leading to the arrest of Smith’s killer.
The boy’s slaying “can’t be tolerated,” Pfleger said.
“Especially a 9-year-old child,” he said. “It’s just ridiculous.”
Cynthia Smith-Thigpen, who lives in the 1200 block of East 71st Street, said the 9-year-old boy was found on a concrete slab behind her home.
She said she didn’t know he was there until police came to her home. She said she was distracted by the TV and her two grandchildren, ages 2 and 6.
“It’s frightening to know that these things are happening around your house,” Smith-Thigpen said.
Smith-Thigpen said her 6-year-old has been asking to ride his bike behind her house. And she said her 86-year-old mother parks her car there.
“I’m glad I didn’t send my 6-year-old grandson out to empty the garbage,” Smith-Thigpen said. “He has a bike that he wants to ride outside. We bought it for him, but now we don’t even let him go outside because of all this shooting.”
Rosetta Jordan, 81, who lives on the block, said her son, Eddie Jordan, 45, heard gunshots. Before going out to investigate, he ordered his 9-year-old son to the basement where he would be safe from stray gunfire.
She said her son found a “neatly dressed” boy lying in the backyard of a neighboring apartment building.
“I’m still shaking,” Rosetta Jordan said Wednesday evening. “It’s just so sad.”
As Jordan stood at her front door, several police cars, with lights and sirens activated, rocketed past her home on three separate occasions.