"A 17-year old kid was shot right next to Kevin's driveway by his house last night. Dead," Pam Stone tells a friend on her cell phone. As word of yet another Rockford teenager's murder makes its way around a Rockford Township neighborhood, shock is not far behind.
"I'm pretty overwhelmed, its pretty devestating, such a young guy getting shot," says Stone.
Stone works right next door to where Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputies found Alexander Michael Delgado shot to death around 1:00 Sunday morning. The report of shots fired initially came in at Memorial Avenue and West State. But deputies found his body just down State on Garver Avenue. That's outside Rockford's city limits, and right in front of Kalee Lindsay's house. She came home only minutes after the sheriff's department arrived.
"I could have walked right into it. It's a little scary. I don't even want to think about it," says Lindsay.
Several longtime neighbors say gang activity has kicked up intensely on the streets of this community just this summer. For many, summer chores have turned from mowing the lawn to painting over gang graffitti scrawled on neighborhood buildings. Others say the violence committed here is just another sign of a growing problem all over our community.
"It's happening on all different parts of the city, east side, west side, north and south," says Stone.
This is the fifth murder of the year in Winnebago County, outside of Rockford. The city had its ninth murder last Sunday. Sheriff's deputies have interviewed several people in connection with the Delgado case but they say the investigation is still underway and no arrests have been made yet.
Delgado's family is asking for anyone with information about the case to contact police. If you have any information please call the Winnebago County Detective Bureau at 815-319-6400, or Crimestoppers at (815) 966-7687 or 1(888) 769-7867.