CHICAGO — Antonio Singleton was born and raised in an apartment two blocks from Marquette Park. He spent his days shooting hoops with friends in the park, and on a cool fall night in September, he lost his life there.
Police said the shooting happened about 7:15 p.m. on September 25. An unknown gunman approached Singleton on a bike and shot him in his side. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Chimere Karmin, Singleton’s cousin, said she didn’t think Singleton was affiliated with a gang.
“He’s just from the neighborhood,” said Karmin. “He knew everyone over there and they knew him.”
But Singleton sometimes ran into trouble with the law. In 2009, he pleaded guilty to a charge of residential burglary and was sentenced to attend a boot camp. In 2011, he pleaded guilty to reckless conduct, for which he received a year's conditional discharge, court records show.
Karmin and Singleton grew up in the same apartment building near the park, and when he was little, Singleton would run from his third-floor apartment down the stairs to her second-floor apartment and surprise her at the door, just to “hang out.”
Karmin said Singleton grew up to be a “very handsome young man, very sweet, kind, and family oriented.” Although he wasn’t working, he did earn a GED and was writing and performing hip-hop that he posted on YouTube, under his rap name Murda Mookie.
Melvina Mayo, the victim’s godmother, said his passion for rap and hip-hop started at a young age.
“He used to rap his ABC’s,” Mayo said, laughing.