ENGLEWOOD — The bullet that struck Soraya Gibson was likely meant for her teenage son and his friends, family said.
She was in the process of moving her belongings out of her Englewood home and was in the alley with her family, including her son, when shots rang out and she was struck, her brother, James Williams said.
“She was laying on the ground and when I turned her over, she had a hole in her chest,” he said.
Gibson managed to make it inside her home in the 5600 block of South Justine but collapsed, her brother said. She died in the home on Jan. 7, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Gibson wanted to leave Englewood after several years of living in the neighborhood, Williams said. She and her family grew up in the Cabrini-Green public housing complex on the North Side but had to find new homes when the towers were knocked down. She headed south to find an affordable place for her and her two sons.
But her oldest son, then 16, was “having problems with some of the guys in the neighborhood,” Williams said and his sister wanted to move her family out of there. A 15 year old had been killed blocks away just days before.
Gibson had been working as a lunchroom attendant at Lakeview High School where she enjoyed interacting with the kids, her brother said.
The outspoken woman enjoyed socializing with friends and playing card games and was known as a mothering-type who would care for those who needed a helping hand.
“She’s a standup person,” her brother said.