The Chicago, Illinois, mother of a 9-year-old boy who was shot dead earlier this week is accused of using money donated to a GoFundMe account for his funeral expenses to purchase a new car.
Karla Lee, the 26-year-old mother of slain Tyshawn Lee, denies using the donated money for anything but funeral expenses, ABC 7 reports.
"Y'all don't know nothing about me," Karla told ABC 7. "For y'all to be bashing me like that, and I just lost my child."
Karla does admit to purchasing a 2015 Chrysler 200 this week, but she said she used her own money to buy it. She added that the funds removed from the account were for Tyshawn’s funeral expenses and GoFundMe's percentage fees.
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More than $17,000 was raised in four days, of which $13,000 remains.
Karla said she purchased the car to protect herself so she would not be a target when walking or taking the bus.
"I told them I was scared and I was fearing," Karla said. "Too bad if y'all don't understand that."
Police believe Tyshawn was lured into an alley and murdered Nov. 2 because of an ongoing gang dispute involving his father, Pierre Stokes.
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Stokes told WGN that he is not involved with any gangs, and he does not know who killed his son.
Those who donated to the GoFundMe account were made aware of Karla’s new car when the dealership posted her purchase on Facebook without her knowledge. The post has since been deleted due to negative comments from donors.
"I'm just hoping that they find Tyshawn's killer," Karla said.
A separate GoFundMe page has been set up by Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church to contribute towards a reward for information leading to an arrest in Tyshawn’s case. It has raised more than $55,000.
"I'll do whatever I have to do to find out who the killer is and put him behind bars," Father Pfleger said.
No arrests have been made in the case and the investigation is ongoing.
Tyshawn's funeral is scheduled for Nov. 10 at St. Sabina Church.