CHICAGO — Family and friends stood behind yellow tape as they watched police investigate the scene where Ronnie Chambers was shot and killed Saturday morning.
One woman, held by a friend, bent over and wept as police moved his body from the street just before 6 a.m. Others watched from their cars as they tried to keep warm in the early morning hours.
But Ronnie Chamber’s mother, Shirley, was not there. Family said she couldn’t bear it.
That’s because Chambers, of the 8700 block of South Escanaba Avenue, was the fourth of her four children to die by the gun, family said.
In 1995, 18-year-old Carlos Chambers was murdered by Jerry Marshall. LaToya Chambers was 15 when she was gunned down near the family’s Cabrini Green home in 2000. Two months later, Jerome Chambers, 23, was shot and killed just blocks from where his sister died.
Police said Ronnie Chambers and another man were sitting in a parked car on the 1100 block of South Mozart Street when shots rang out about 2 a.m.
Chambers, 33, was hit in the head, according to police spokesman Officer Jose Estrada. The other man, 21, was struck in his left shoulder and buttocks, Estrada said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in stable condition.
But Chambers was pronounced dead at the scene and lay just next to his maroon van with a white sheet covering his body. Police said the shooting was gang-related.
Chambers appeared on "The Ricki Lake Show" late last year with a young rapper named YK - which stands for Yung Killa. A family member said Chambers he was producing music for YK, including a song called "Wildend," that includes violent imagery and calls for revenge on rivals.
But on television program, Chambers, who was identified as "Scooby," and a former gang member, said the only way he could escape violence was to move.
"I told myself I gotta do something else. I stayed away from there," he said. "You gotta get away from the area, get away from the negativity around you."
Chambers' family lived in the Carbrini Green area, where his siblings were killed. Chambers apparently moved to the South Chicago neighborhood sometime in 2007.
Chamber’s cousin, Tanisha Williams, said she heard the news of the shooting from her sister. She said her cousin was a music producer.
“He had an album release party tonight,” Williams said. “He had an artist that he had signed who just got a record deal.”
Williams described her cousin as an entrepreneur, as someone who was “doing things.” She said he had owned his own clothing shop before going into music.
“He was a good kid,” Williams said. “He really wasn’t into any trouble, so I don’t understand this whole thing.”
Records show Chambers served time for at least five felony convictions since 1998, ranging from drug possession to a weapons charge.
Another family member who did not provide her name said Chambers had three young children. She said Chambers was a hard worker and was never involved with gangs.
She and Williams said to see a family destroyed by gun violence was “just so sad.”
“He had three siblings, and all three of them died like this, murdered,” Williams said. “So now his mom has no more kids.”