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'No Purpose in Knowing Why,' Family Says After Fatal Shooting of Student

By Darryl Holliday | May 22, 2013 7:06am
 Torri Stewart was killed on his brother's 12th birthday, five days after he shared a birthday with his mom.
'No Purpose in Knowing Why,' Family Says After Fatal Shooting of Student
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SOUTH CHICAGO — Four generations of Torri "Snoop" Stewart's family gathered at his great-grandmother's home to mourn the Parkland Community College student Tuesday night.

Stewart was in his car Monday night when he was fatally shot in his head — a night in which four others were wounded in separate shootings, police said.

Stewart's mother said the two frequented the Bronzeville park where her son was killed, directly beside Pershing East Magnet School.

Ronya Stewart had left her son to walk to a nearby Jewel when her younger son called to tell her Torri had been hit by one of seven or eight gunshots — she was back within minutes, she said.

Torri and his mother shared a birthday on May 15, less than a week before his death. Stewart had turned 20; his mother 40.

Stewart's brother, known as "Smug" by family, turned 12 the day Stewart was killed.

"I'm not really interested in 'why' he was shot," Stewart's grandmother, Barbara Hill said. "It serves no purpose for me to know 'why.' 'Why' will be the downfall of many people — 'why' keeps you locked in."

Instead, about 30 of Stewart's family members gathered at the family's South Chicago home to celebrate the Kenwood Academy graduate.

Stewart was studying business and had plans to get involved in home renovation post-graduation, his family said.

Stewart's great-grandmother, Frances Winfield, 77, described the young man as "wholesome, passionate and educated," traits she said she's instilled in her children as the family's matriarch.

The recently retired drug counselor of 22 years at the Haymarket Center said her great-grandson's death feels like "her feet are stuck in clay."

"This is a real loss, he had a lot to offer the world, not just the city or the state, and that was snatched away," she said. "He wanted something out of life and I expected that out of him — he didn't fail me."

Stewart is survived by his mother and four siblings. Stewart's younger sister, Torbione Stewart, 15, said he had been looking forward to attending her eighth-grade graduation this summer.