BACK OF THE YARDS — Elizabeth Steve’s two sons went to prison after they shot at a rival gang member.
After serving their sentences, both sons left prison, freed from the bars but bound by their actions and affiliations. Her older son, John, left the Chicago area. But two months after leaving prison, her younger son, Mark, came back to the city.
On Feb. 24, Mark Steve, a member of the La Raza street gang, found himself at 48th and Laflin streets, visiting a friend.
“Supposedly the opposite gang seen him and he was walking with his friends from the store and they were walking on the street,” Elizabeth Steve said. “ …. They came up on the them …. and they got him they shot him 9 times.”
Elizabeth Steve said the rivalry may have been with the Latin Saints gang.
Steve died that day from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. No one has been charged, according to police records.
But Elizabeth Steve believes it was gang retaliation.
Her oldest son, John, 25, was convicted of a 2006 aggravated battery with a firearm. In that incident, Mark Steve, 23, was convicted of aggravated battery with a firearm. Attempted murder charges in that case were dropped against both brothers, court records show. John is currently on probation, according to state records. Elizabeth said he’s not in the Chicago area by choice.
“The gang wanted to kill him … he knew they wanted to kill [him],” she said of John.
But her younger son did return to the city.
“They probably figured if we can’t get the other brother, we’ll get him,” she said.
It wasn’t the first time Mark Steve had been shot. When he was 17 a bullet pierced his colon and other digestive system organs, his mother said.
“He was on the bag for about 2 years,” Elizabeth Steve said referring to a colostomy bag. “He was lucky, but how lucky can you get?”
Despite that, Mark Steve had bravado.
“Mark thought nothing was going to happen to him,” his mom said. “He knew the gang was going to be after him.”
It might have been that Mark Steve, who beat his chest and grunted a gorilla to make his young relatives giggle, was over gang life and wanted to go back to school, possibly to become a cook or chef, his mother said.
But his mother knew he wasn’t safe.
“I was scared for him,” she said.