BRONZEVILLE — None of the many shots fired into a large crowd on a unusually warm March night were meant for Reginald Smith, his mother said. In the end, the 24-year-old was hit multiple times, authorities said.
“We talked about everything,” said his mother, Jammie Miller. “That’s how I knew he wasn’t in a gang and those shots weren’t for him. We knew everyone was gonna be acting crazy ‘cause it was so nice outside.”
Smith, who lived in Bronzeville, was gunned down in the 6500 block of South Drexel Avenue late March 6, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Smith did have a criminal record, primarily for theft and other petty crimes. According to court records, he spent one day in jail.
He was in the Woodlawn neighborhood to visit his family, his mother said.
“He just came to see how everyone was doing,” Miller said. “He was the type of person that helped everyone. He would give you advice on things and tell you about life — he would give you the shirt off his back.”
Miller said her son had wanted to move out of the city to Green Bay, Wisc., where he could continue his construction work and where his family, which included a 4-week-old daughter, could live in peace.
“He went up there for a visit and liked it,” she said. “He asked me to leave with him—he said, ‘Mom I just want to leave.’”