Friday, September 7, 2012

Chicago: Some members of Kenwood Academy High School student Muhammed Kebbeh’s Gambian-immigrant family say that they are considering moving back to Africa after he became the city’s 370th murder victim in 2012 and second of his six siblings to be gunned down on the South Side in the last six months

Muhammed, 19, was sitting with his girlfriend when he was shot dead by masked gunmen in a drive-by shooting in the 8100 block of South Ingleside recently. Relatives say that they had been especially worried about him ever since his 23-year-old brother Omar Kebbeh became Chicago’s 68th murder victim of 2012 back in February. Muhammed moved out of the family apartment — just a few blocks from the spot where Omar Kebbeh was killed as he walked home from work — soon after to stay with friends and wouldn’t come back, despite repeated entreaties, his brother Hajie said. Police sources say that Muhammed was a member of the Gangster Disciples street gang and his brother said that was probably true. “He said he had a beef and he didn’t want to come back and put the family in danger,” Hajie Kebbeh said. “I asked him two times but the only time he came to me was when he needed money or something else. We were all very worried.” Mohammed hung out on the corner at 71st and South East End with his pals and was staying with friends near where he was killed, his family said. He was the first member of his family to be born in the United States but was always conscious of his African roots, his family said. He sometimes attended mosque with his mother, Mariana, and he had attended the first day of school at Kenwood just hours before he was killed, relatives said. “It’s very difficult for our mother,” Momadu Kebbeh said. “Now she has lost two sons.” Police have not made arrests in either of the Kebbeh brothers’ murders. Muhammed’s killing means that Chicago’s murder rate is now 27% higher than it was at the same point in 2011. Though the increase was as high as 40% earlier in 2012, it is still on track to top 500 murders for the first time since 2008.

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