Services have been set for the nine-year-old boy who was fatally shot in a South Side backyard last week.
Antonio Smith, Chicago’s youngest fatal shooting victim this year, was shot at least four times in the 1200 block of East 71st Street in the Grand Crossing neighborhood. He was found in a backyard near train tracks and taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition, where he was later pronounced dead.
A visitation has been set for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Calahan Funeral Home at 7030 S. Halsted St. On Saturday, additional visitation hours will be held at 10 a.m., and followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. at Evening Star Baptist Church. Located at 2050 W. 59th St.
While the funeral is open to the public, Bishop Vesta Dixon said the family asks that no cameras be allowed.
“The family really doesn’t want to deal with any of that,” he said. “They’re hurting, and this funeral isn’t showtime.”
He said Evening Star Baptist Church’s choir – which Smith was a member of – will perform with hopes of comforting Smith’s family. He said the church expects about 500 people to attend the service.
The shooting has received attention from the community and religious leaders, who’ve raised a $13,500 reward for information leading to the shooter. St. Sabina Church organized a vigil for Smith last week, where dozens of community members gathered in the backyard where Smith was shot.
Community members also paraded through the neighborhood as part of a rally, leaving fliers on windshields and doorways.
While Smith’s family hopes the person responsible for the shooting is found, Dixon emphasized this weekend’s service is about hope and prayer.
“I’ve known the mother since she was a little baby,” Dizon said. “I pray that this service stays peaceful, and not end up being a show-and-tell type service.”Copyright © 2015, RedEye