UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – The gunman who shot and killed a local high school basketball player and two other teens remains on the run.
Rockford Police say Gregory Hill, the 15-year-old who was fatally shot in the head at a party early Sunday morning, was not the intended target. Hill’s mother says she did everything she could to prevent a tragedy like this and still finds herself asking why.
“I just want him to call me and say, I’m just playin’, I just want that so bad. Nobody can understand,” says DeKeisiana Hill, Gregory’s older sister.
Hill's vigil was held under a tree near Nelson Elementary School, on Rockford's southeast side. For the dozens of teenagers who came to remember their friend, it's an uncomfortably familiar scene. It's the same spot, same tree, where Hill's 13-year-old friend, Gaillen Baker's vigil was held after the teenager's life was also taken at the hand of a gun in February.
DeKeisiana Hill feels like she failed her only brother.
“Since he came out of the womb, since I got older, all I vowed was to protect him and provide for him. I can’t do that no more. What are the accomplishments that I have if I can't share them with my baby brother? That don't mean nothing in the world. I swear to God, God can have everything back - the money, the cars, the clothes, the shoes - I just want my brother back. That's it. And I can't get him back,” says DeKeisiana.
Rockford Police say two teenage girls, a 13-year-old, and a 17-year-old were also hit by gunfire but are expected to recover. Investigators don’t believe any of the teenagers hit were the intended targets.
“I did not have a bad child, and anybody that knows Nakita knows that that boy was not a bad child,” says Nakita Hill, Gregory’s mother.
Hill’s mother says her son, also affectionately known as “Papi,” loved playing basketball. In 2003, the family moved to Rockford from Chicago to get away from the gun violence so her son could safely pursue his dreams of playing college basketball.
“It’s just sad that I have to go through something like this because people don't know how to put the guns down. We always screaming black lives matter to the next person, but when is it going to matter to the people who share the same skin color as you? It's sad,” says Nakita Hill.
Nakita says her son had been dead for more than six hours before she found out through Facebook.
Both neighbors as well as party guests say the party was huge, but respectful until an argument broke out in the front yard of a home in the 3200 block of Greendale Drive, near Alpine and Harrison. Bullets pierced through the walls of two different houses in the area where parents say their two year olds sleep.
Witnesses say they remember people arguing in the front yard, but when the argument got broken up, one of the people involved walked across the street to a dark SUV, grabbed a gun, and started shooting.
Police say since 2007, Rockford Police have responded to the same house 25 times. It’s a rental property with traces of ownership in Niles, Illinois.
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- A 15-year-old boy is dead after police say he was shot in the head during an argument. Bullet holes are still fresh where shells pierced through rooms where parents say two-year-old's sleep, at two separate houses. Witnesses tell 23 news they remember hearing more than a dozen gun shots, likely from multiple shooters.
Police believe the teen was at a party in the 3200 block of Greendale Drive on the city's east side. They say an argument broke out around 1:30 Sunday morning and several shots were fired.
According to Rockford police, the 15-year-old was taken to an area hospital where he later died. A 17-year-old girl and a 13-year-old girl were also taken to an area hospital for their injuries. Both have been treated and released.
According to police, none of the victims are believed to have been involved in that argument. Authorities say they are launching a murder investigation.
Since 2007, authorities have responded to 25 incidents at the property. People in the neighborhood complain the house under investigation is a rental property that is known for throwing large parties on a monthly basis. Some people, who say they were at the party, claim everyone had been respecting the neighborhood and no one could have expected a tragedy like this would happen.