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Slain Teen's Mom: 'Don't Tell Me My Son Is Dead'

By Josh McGhee | June 17, 2013 12:29pm
 Jamal Jones, 19, was gunned down on his way home Sunday morning in Englewood.
Jamal Jones, 19, was gunned down on his way home Sunday morning in Englewood.
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ENGLEWOOD — When Karen Sumner got a call telling her police were at her house, she had a feeling that something had happened to her son Jamal.

"Is my son in jail?" Sumner asked. "Don't tell me my son is dead."

She rushed home from her early morning shift at Jewel, and police told her that her son had been shot to death, one of eight people killed during a violent Father's Day weekend in Chicago.

Jamal Jones, 19, was found on the sidewalk in the 7400 block of South Parnell Avenue about 1:13 a.m. Sunday, authorities said. He was taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds in his chest, stomach and shoulder, and was pronounced dead at 2:18 a.m.

His family said he was leaving a friend's house on his bike when he was gunned down.

"I've been crying all night. It hurts," Sumner said. "I'm steady waiting for him to come home, and he ain't coming."

Jones' family went to the block where he was shot to pray and create a memorial of balloons and candles on Sunday. They found a friend of Jones, but couldn't get a straight answer about what happened.

"Something ain't right about that," Sumner said. "First they didn't see him, then they did see him."

Jones, who also went by "Mook" and "Mello," was close to his family and would greet his mother before she left for work every day, smothering her with kisses and telling her he loved her. His niece decided "Uncle Mook" was her favorite because he would take her shopping.

He was the youngest of 19 siblings and her "baby boy," Sumner said.

"He made your day when he came around because he was so goofy and silly," said Martina Sumner, Jones' sister. "He was not the violent type. He didn't play with guns."

According to court records, Jones pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a blackjack in 2012. He has been arrested on minor drug charges and trespassing as well, but those cases were dropped, records show.

His mother said he had been working with his uncle as a roofer and selling water to make money.

"He was all about making a dollar," she said.

His sister Brittany Sumner said she will miss late-night chats with her brother and arguing with him. She also wants to know what really happened.

"We don't know the truth. The only one who knows is Mook, and he's not here to tell us," she said.