A mother whose 9-year-old son was killed in Chicago faced backlash after she reportedly used donations intended to pay funeral costs to buy a new car.
Karla Lee, the boy’s mother, confessed to using the money contributed through GoFundMe to purchase a sedan, but claims it was what her son would have wanted to keep her safe, reports NY Daily News.
Lee later claimed the down payment for the 2015 Chrysler 200 she bought was with her own money, reports Fox 32 Chicago.
“Am I afraid for my life? 100 percent I’m afraid for my life,” Lee told Fox 32 Chicago.
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Tyshawn Lee was allegedly coerced and trapped into a South Side alleyway and shot on Nov. 2 in a shooting that has been connected to a gang feud.
Now she insists she might be a target in the gang war.
“I work right over there, so what ya'll want me to be walking and then they see me and they kill me too?” she said.
Kindhearted friends and strangers had contributed more than $17,000 to a GoFundMe page titled, “Help me lay my baby to rest.”
Police say Tyshawn’s passing was an “absolutely hateful” murder driven by his father’s purported gang associations.
Chicago cops have carried out numerous search warrants in the murder investigation and a $54,600 incentive has been offered for evidence leading to a capture.
Lee also appealed for information that may lead to the arrest of her son’s killers.
“Step up, break this code of silence or whatever ya’ll got going on with this gang stuff,” Lee said. “Break that. Put the guns down. Ya’ll killing babies out here.”
In another twist, Tyshawn's father allegedly created another GoFundMe page asking for donations for burial expenses over the weekend.
The page — which was also selling commemorative T-shirts — was quickly removed after remarks condemning the move flooded the comments section, according to DNAinfo.
On Nov. 8, a shrine in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood for the fourth-grader was destroyed in a fire.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated, noted Chicago Fire Department Cmdr. Walter Schroeder.