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Mother of Slain Boy, 16: 'I Just Want to Know Who and Why'

By Quinn Ford | January 29, 2013 6:48am | Updated on January 29, 2013 11:04am

LAWNDALE— After nine people were killed on the South and West sides over the weekend, police said it could have been worse.

But don't tell that to Marshall Langston Fenner — at 16, her son Antonio was the youngest of the nine victims.

“I just want to know who and why,” Fenner said in a shaky voice from her home in the 4400 block of West 16th Street Monday. “For them to take his life like that, it’s just — it wasn’t right.”

Police found Antonio’s body, along with the body of 32-year-old Dimitri Buford, in the 4200 block of West Congress Parkway just after 4 p.m. Saturday. Antonio and Buford both died from gunshot wounds to the head, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

 Antonio Fenner, 16, was the youngest of nine people killed over the weekend.
Antonio Fenner, 16, was the youngest of nine people killed over the weekend.
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Police had few details of the shooting. There had been no arrests in the case as of Monday night, police said.

Antonio, who lived just across the Eisenhower Expy. in Lawndale, was in West Garfield Park visiting family when he was shot, she said. She said her sister called with news of her son’s death almost immediately after it happened.

Fenner said her son, the oldest of five children, was a student at Manley Career Academy, popular and “a typical 16-year-old.”

“He loved his sports,” Fenner said. “He played it all, a little bit of everything.”

Monday afternoon, a makeshift memorial of teddy bears, balloons and poster cards decorated the corner of West Congress Parkway and South Kildare Avenue. A man bent on one knee to fix a poster that had slumped over in the rain.

The man, who asked not to be identified, said he knew Antonio and had grown up with Buford.

“They was good people,” he said. “They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The man said the corner was a “drug-infested area” and the violence in the neighborhood is a result of that problem, although he said neither Buford nor Antonio sold drugs. He said he wanted to see more police on the streets.

“We’re killing each other over some crumbs, things that don’t belong to us,” he said.

But back at her home, Fenner still wanted to know why it had to be her son to die.

“I wouldn’t wish this upon nobody,” Fenner said, tears running down her face. “I would never want nobody to go through this, and they did this to me. Why?”

Fenner said she wanted to see guns taken off the streets to stop the sort of violence that claimed her son's life. Almost daily, she hears of “somebody child, somebody uncle, somebody auntie, somebody mother” being killed in Chicago.

“Let’s prevent this. Let’s see our babies grow up and have a fruitful life, not on the streets selling drugs,” Fenner said. “It’s crazy.”