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Mother of Slain Man: 'He Died Holding His Brother'

By Quinn Ford | April 11, 2013 6:12am | Updated on April 11, 2013 11:08am

WEST PULLMAN — Cortney Young died in the arms of his younger brother.

Young, 36, was shot "seven or eight times" in the chest Wednesday night as he and his younger brother walked home from a neighborhood store in the 12000 block of South Normal Avenue, family said.

Two gunman approached the brothers from behind and opened fire about 8:30 p.m., according to Officer Amina Greer, a police spokeswoman.

Cortney Young, of the 600 block of West 119th Street, was hit repeatedly in the upper chest and died on the scene, authorities said. His 19-year-old brother, Larry Young Jr., was hit four times in the leg and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Darlene Young and Larry Young Sr., the brothers' parents, said police knocked on their door about 9 p.m. to tell them one of their sons had been killed.

Darlene Young said they tried to go to the scene of the shooting, just a few blocks from their home, but police told them Cortney was already dead and took them to Christ Hospital instead.

"We went to the hospital to be with our son, the one who was living," Young said, standing in her kitchen early Thursday morning.

Darlene and Larry Young Sr. said they had been at the hospital all night. They said Larry Jr. was getting ready to go into surgery Thursday morning for the wounds in his leg.

Larry Sr. said his son is "trying to be strong" but had broken down at the hospital when they spoke with him.

"He saw his brother die," Young said. "He saw his brother pass on before his eyes."

Darlene said her son told her that after the two were shot, Larry Jr. crawled over to Cortney to hold him.

"He crawled up where his brother was at to protect his brother because they weren't going to shoot him no more," she said. "They found him holding his brother."

The parents said Cortney was the second of five children. His mother said he had an interview on Monday for a job tutoring at-risk youths at a local school, although she could not remember which one. She said her son worked the same job when he lived in Iowa a couple of years ago. 

Larry Young Sr. said the whole family was at the hospital after the shooting, including Cortney Young's 12-year-old daughter, Sierra. Larry Young Sr. said his son lived for his only daughter.

"He was a good, loving person, a caring person, family-oriented," Young said. "He loved his family. He loved his daughter."

"Yes, he did," Darlene Young echoed.

The family have been living in the West Pullman neighborhood since 2009. Before that, they had been living on the Southwest Side, where both Cortney and Larry Jr. attended John F. Kennedy High School, their parents said.

Darlene Young said shootings are not uncommon in the neighborhood, but this is the first time her family has been directly touched by violence.

"It's a very painful thing, very painful. You can't dress. You can't eat. You can't sleep," she said. "It keeps going through your mind. You see your son's face in your mind. I see both my sons."

Larry Young Sr. said police did not have any information about what may have led to the shooting. He said both of his sons "stuck together" and "kept to themselves." He said Larry Jr. told him the shooting happened so quickly, he could not remember what the shooters looked like.

Thursday morning, Larry Young Sr. said he wanted his son Cortney to be remembered as a devoted father who loved his family, and he called it an "abomination" to kill "an innocent person" like his son.

"To gun someone down like that from behind, almost kill two brothers, that's an abomination," Young said.

No one was in custody for the shooting Thursday morning, police said.