Quiltavia Patterson was an aspiring rapper who left Chicago months ago to get her twin toddlers out of harm's way.
Jermaine Carter was "the cool guy" in the West Pullman neighborhood who did tattoos. He also preached to his children daily about staying in school.
Patterson was walking home from a family get-together with her sister early this morning, and was passing Carter and other neighbors at Eggleston and 120th when a dark-colored car drove past and someone inside opened fire, according to family and police.
Patterson, 25, was dead at the scene. Carter, 38, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead.
Patterson's 22-year-old sister and a man, 30, were shot and seriously wounded, police said.
Authorities were releasing few details of the shooting, which occurred around 2:35 a.m. in the 400 block of West 120th Street. There was no description of the car and no reports of arrests.
"Chicago is getting reckless, it's horrible," Patterson's older sister, Shantavia King said, sobbing. "Whoever did this, they need to be brought to justice because she was a good person, a good mother, a good sister, my best friend. It is just ridiculous, she was my best friend.
"Before she was anything, she was a good person," King said. "She had twins, a boy and a girl. She was getting her life the way it's supposed to be. Now she's just gone."
Her mother, Cynthia Patterson has been trying to figure out how she was going to tell the 3-year-old twins that their mother has been killed. The woman’s son has been asking repeatedly for his mother today, she said.
“They’re only three. How do you tell them," she said. "I know I’m going to take care of them.”
Patterson had graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and moved to Springfield about four months ago with her children, according to her stepfather, Charles Smith. "She wanted to get out of the city because of her kids and herself," he said, adding that there was "too much violence up here."
Patterson had driven up from Springfield to see her family and celebrate a relative's 4th birthday, relatives said. She and her sister, Chrishawn Cottrell, 22, left the house to see a friend.
"When I was getting ready to go upstairs to go to bed, she was like, 'Good night, mother. I love you.' I was like, 'Good night Q. I love you too,' " said Patterson.
Relatives said Quiltavia Patterson was an aspiring rapper and would perform at local bars.
She was going to start looking for a job in the next year once her children were in school, said her mother.
"She could rap, but (she) had a pretty voice," said her aunt, Jennifer Smith. "She could sing,"
Other relatives described her as loving, giving and outgoing. "She always kept a smile on her face," said her cousin Keyosha Temples. "She was funny."
Carter's wife, Valerie Simms-Carter, said she had turned in for the night when she heard gunfire.
"I was actually in bed going to asleep," she said. "I wasn't asleep, because I can't sleep unless I know everybody in my household is in. And when I heard the gunshots, I ran out in the hallway and saw someone lying on the ground.
"Somebody yelled, 'That's Face lying down," Simms-Carter said, referring to her husband's nickname in the neighborhood. "It was just. . . I started crying, he was such a nice guy. He was the type of person to give the shirt off his back to somebody.
"He didn't bother anybody. It was a senseless crime," Simms-Carter said. "We are just hoping whoever did this come forth. . .You will be found."
Zahkieya Simms, 13, said her step-father would often encourage her school work. "He would tell us to keep going. Don't drop out," she said.
He would take his three children on trips, like to the park or out to eat, Zahkieya said., and sometimes he would bring home gifts, like an Xbox.
"Sometimes when I get out of school he gives me 2 or 3 popsicles for being good," said Saona Moton, 8, his niece who lives in the same building.
Friends said Carter's passion was doing tattoos. "He was a cool guy," said Jerard Lynch, 27, who lives in the same building. "Everybody around here knows he's the tattoo man."
A friend, Robert Reynolds, said Carter's "passion was doing tattoos."
"He was a good person to talk to. If you were feeling down, he would life you up. He was a good person, a very good person," he said.
Chicago police statistics indicate the West Pullman community, long troubled by gangs and drugs, is the 9th most violent in the city.
Just two hours earlier, a man was wounded less than a mile from the scene of the drive-by. The neighborhood has had three homicides since the start of the month, including the shooting death of an 18-year-old man over the weekend.
Naomi Nix and William Lee are Tribune reporters, Randi Belisomo is a reporter for WGN-Channel 9.
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