The mother of Tyshawn Lee, the 9-year-old who was shot to death in an alleyway in Chicago on Monday, has spoken out after rumors circulated on social media that she bought a new car with money from a GoFundMe account for Tyshawn’s funeral.
Karla Lee told NBC 5 she did buy a new car, but not with the money from the GoFundMe account. She said she bought the car for protection after what happened to her son, and she used savings to make the purchase.
Accusations spread on social media this week following Lee’s purchase of the car, and many claimed she used some of the money in the GoFundMe account for Tyshawn’s funeral, which had raised more than $17,000 by Saturday. Lee posted several videos on Instagram addressing the claims, saying she bought the car for her protection to get to work and asking everyone to leave her alone.
Saturday marked the first time Lee spoke to the media since police announced her son was lured into an alley and murdered in what is believed to have been a “targeted” shooting. Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Thursday the shooting appears to have been gang-related.
“Tyshawn was murdered in probably the most abhorrent, cowardly, unfathomable crime that I’ve witnessed in 35 years of policing,” McCarthy said.
Tyshawn, a fourth grader at Scott Joplin School, was fatally shot in an alleyway near his grandmother’s home in Chicago’s Gresham neighborhood around 4:15 p.m. Monday while still in his school uniform. Authorities said he was shot multiple times in the head and back.
On Tuesday, Lee addressed the media in an emotional plea asking for her son’s killer to come forward.
“Please come forward and find whoever did this to my baby,” Lee said as tears rolled down her face. “Oh my god I love my son. I’m going to miss him.”
The reward money for information leading to the arrest of Tyshawn’s killer has grown to at least $54,600.