CHICAGO — After her youngest son was gunned down outside her family's Belmont Craigin home, Carolyn Cherney said she can't handle living there anymore.
The blood of 22-year-old Brian Cherney remained in the alley outside the home for days after he was shot in the 4800 block of West George Street on Sept. 15, Carolyn Cherney said.
The murder rocked the Cherney family, who described their son as a gentle kid who stayed out of trouble and spent most of his time at work or with his girlfriend and family.
“If there was a purpose to Brian being killed,” his father Scott Cherney said, “it better be a good one.”
Ana Ocampo, Brian Cherney's girlfriend of six years, described her boyfriend as a jokester who loved a bit of horseplay. Before his death, he bought a 2004 Chevy Impala, which he was obsessed with.
“He called it 'baby' instead of me,” Ocampo said.
He worked with his dad at a bakery to save up money for the car, which gobbled up all his paycheck.
Ocampo said the two met when they both worked at Burger King. Before he met her, Brian hadn’t really seen the city, just suburban Berwyn, where he was raised.
Ocampo showed him the rest of the city and Brian’s family accepted her like one of their own, she said.
“He would have been a good father, a good provider,” Scott Cherney said.
A flood of people showed up at his funeral to pay their respects, Ocampo said.
“Brian would be so surprised there were all those people at the funeral, crying for him, because he never thought that many people loved him,” she said.
The family will grieve through the winter, and look for a new place to live in the spring, Carolyn Cherney said. She fears her son's killer is still out there, and will see one of Brian’s brothers and think he survived.
“I’ve got two more sons,” she said. “And his brother looks just like him, and I’m kind of scared. I’ve already lost one son.”