SOUTH DEERING — Joseph Brewer Sr. was playing with his daughter when he heard the gunshots that killed his son, Joseph "Jojo" Brewer Jr.
He walked outside to find his son lying in the grass, his face turned to the side under his nearly shoulder-length dreadlocks, his arm at an awkward angle at his side. The blood from a gunshot wound in Jojo's back showed through the 16-year-old's white tank top.
"I couldn't believe it. I heard the gun shots. I don't know what to feel ... just overwhelmed," Brewer Sr. said.
His son, who lived with his family in the 10600 block of South Oglesby on the Southeast Side, was visiting his 4-month-old daughter, Jayla, about 2:50 p.m. Sunday when he was shot less than a block north of his home, his father said.
"There [were] a lot of shots. I didn't know who it was," he said. "The people down there hollered, 'Joseph, your son got shot.'
"When I got down there he was already on the ground. They shot my baby down."
As Brewer Sr. approached the scene, police restrained him, he said.
"I tried to get to him and they kept pushing me back, trying to keep me from my son."
He took pictures on his phone as he tried to get to his son. The pictures show Brewer Jr. with a gun in his waistband. His dad didn't know where or how his son obtained the weapon.
Family and friends, including Brewer's young daughter and Tonya Harris, the baby's grandmother, gathered at the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office Monday afternoon to identify the young man's body.
Though she lives many miles away, Brewer's death is just the latest to hit Harris hard. Over the Fourth of July weekend, nine people were shot, two fatally, on her childhood block in East Garfield Park.
"It's like a war zone," Harris said of the West Side block. Now, she's grappling with the loss of Brewer Jr., whom she described as a good kid.
The teen's family said he changed when his daughter was born four months earlier, describing him as more family-oriented.
"He was all about his daughter and finishing school," his father said. "He was very excited."