SOUTH HOLLAND — Derrick Holliday is still present in his mother’s home.
At the entrance to South Holland home, there’s a chair covered with a t-shirt emblazoned with her son’s face. The back of the chair is covered with her son’s blue hoodie. At the foot of the chair are his black sneakers.
Holliday, 23, was killed Jan. 22 while in the 7400 block of South Merrill Avenue, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Holliday’s family has no idea why he was in that part of the South Shore neighborhood. His grandmother, who dropped him off at 87th Street and the Dan Ryan, lives five miles away from the murder scene, his mother said.
“We don’t know why he was there or what happened,” the mother, Michelle Holliday, said.
Holliday, the oldest of four children, was very protective of his family, his mother said.
“He was like a mom guarding her cubs,” she said.
Holliday, who was called “DJ” by his friends and family, loved sneakers and always “had to have a new pair of shoes” because he couldn’t stand creased toes, his mother said.
Holliday also loved driving and going to the casino to play craps and roulette.
After Holliday’s death, his mother created the memorial inside her home.
“I feel like everyone has gone on with their lives. I’m still in a hole,” she said. “I ache for him.”