www.redeyechicago.com/news/crime/chi-slain-boy-15-had-tried-to-escape-fathers-fate-20130531,0,7484568.story

redeyechicago.com

Slain boy, 15, had tried to escape father's fate

Staff report

3:15 PM CDT, May 31, 2013

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Two years ago, Taminicka Smith buried her husband after he was gunned down just two blocks from their Gresham home on the South Side.

This week, her 15-year-old son was shot dead in nearly the same spot.

"Chicago is bad," Smith said through heavy sobs in her living room Friday. "You can't say anymore you can move to another neighborhood."

But her son Patrick Sykes tried.

He lived with relatives on the West Side for a while, then moved out to California last December to live with an aunt. He was back home just six days when he was shot a block from the home where he grew up.

"He didn't want to come to the neighborhood," Smith said. "These kids live in a box, they can't go anywhere. They can't cross 87th Street. . .You are scared for your kids every day."

Patrick was shot three times around 12:30 p.m. Thursday in the 1700 block of West 85th Street, police said. Witnesses at the scene gave conflicting accounts: The shooters were either on foot or on bicycles. Two people were taken into custody for questioning but released without charges late Thursday night, police said.

Police have released few details of the shooting.

Smith believes her son was not the target. "There were two other boys sitting with him. They could have been the target," she said.

Smith said her son, one of four children, had a birthday coming up in July. "He was getting ready to be 16," she said.

She said he was interested in fashion, in particular designing shoes.  "You definitely wanted to be around him."

chicagobreaking@tribune.com

Twitter: @ChicagoBreaking