SOUTH SHORE — Leonard "L'A Capone" Anderson, an up-and-coming rapper and friend of Def Jam Recording's Lil Durk, was shot and killed Thursday evening leaving a South Shore recording studio, his mother said.
The 17-year-old rapper was walking through an alley near 70th Street and Stony Island Avenue around 6:25 p.m. when shots rang out and he was hit in his right thigh and lower back, said Amina Greer, a Chicago Police Department spokeswoman.
After the shooting, fellow rapper Lil Durk tweeted, "Get well lil bro," but then followed it up with a later tweet of "rip lil bro" after Anderson died about 8:30 p.m. at Northwestern Hospital.
Anderson's mother, Dedra Morris, said her son was close friends with Lil Durk for five years and appeared in several of Lil Durk's videos. Anderson was leaving a session at the recording studio with a friend when he was shot.
"The friend said Leonard walked to the corner looking for their ride, wondering where their ride was at, and he heard four shots and Leonard was on the ground," said Morris, 37.
Morris said she walked past a lot of police Thursday night and thought nothing of it. When she got home she received a terrifying call from a friend.
"My friend Erica called me and told me he got shot. She hopped on Lake Shore Drive and followed the ambulance to Northwestern and waited for me," Morris said. "They said he was alert and talking. I never in a million years thought this would happen."
Morris said her son had been shot around this time last year, but recovered after surgeries and other lengthy treatment, making his quick death Thursday night all the more shocking.
Morris said she went to the hospital Thursday night and was trying to keep herself busy as doctors treated Anderson when she heard her mother scream.
"I could hear my mother screeching loud, and I knew," Morris said. "They said he was losing too much blood. They stopped it twice, but the third time he stopped breathing."
"I guess he got tired of trying to fight," she said.
Anderson had just turned 17 last week. A homemade chocolate cake with chocolate frosting was still on the kitchen counter Friday morning.
"He doesn't like store-bought cake, so I had to make him one," Morris said.
"He knew he was special because he was the only boy," she said. "For his first birthday I bought him a gold crown, and I wouldn't let anybody call him anything but king. I was so happy I had a son."
Morris paced through her second-floor apartment Friday morning, frantically cleaning and throwing things away including the birthday cake. She admitted she normally is a "cleanaholic" but today it was different.
"I don't know what to do with myself. I feel like I need to do something. If I stopped it's going to make me think too hard," she said. "I don't know how to handle life without Leonard. I don't know what to do without my son."
Morris pointed to the eight boxes of cereal that sat on the refrigerator. Then she opened a cabinet exposing several more.
"He was a cereal fiend. I don't know how I'm going to stop buying Cinnamon Toast Crunch. He would eat up all the other cereals first then save this for last," Morris said. "He'd come in have three bowls of cereal and a Home Run Inn sausage pizza."
Anderson was waiting on a package to arrive with a new Polo hoodie in it. He called his mother hours before the shooting to see if it arrived.
"He never got the chance to come home and get the package," said Morris. "He didn't get a chance to get his driver's license. He didn't get a chance to go to prom."
Lil Durk, whose real name is Durk D. Banks, is a convicted felon and was a part of rapper Chief Keef's crew. He was arrested in June and charged with illegally having a .40-caliber handgun.
Police say both Chief Keef, an Interscope Records star, and Lil Durk are members of the Black Disciples street gang.
Prosecutors have said that Chief Keef, 17, is a member of a faction of the Black Disciples gang known as "Lamron" — the street name "Normal" spelled backward. Authorities say it's a gang reference to a stretch of Normal Boulevard in Englewood, Chief Keef's old neighborhood.
Lil Durk last summer was the target of a YouTube rap video made by rival Joseph "Lil JoJo" Coleman, an 18-year-old who also referenced the Black Disciples in his rap, saying he was "BDK," slang for a Black Disciples killer, the Sun-Times reported.
The South Side gang beef made national news after Lil JoJo was gunned down as he rode double on a bike in Englewood. His slaying has not been solved.
Chief Keef was criticized for tweeting, in the hours after JoJo's murder, that, "Its Sad Cuz Dat N---- JoJo Wanted to Be Just Like Us #LMAO." The "laughing my a-- off" tagline drew the criticism, although Chief Keef quickly claimed his Twitter account had been hacked.