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Mother of Two Brothers Slain in West Pullman: 'They Were My Strength'

By Josh McGhee | August 6, 2013 7:38am | Updated on August 6, 2013 11:28am
 Two brothers were shot and killed in West Pullman Tuesday morning, police said.
Demetrius and Leandre Cooper killed in West Pullman
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WEST PULLMAN — Brothers Demetrius and Leandre Cooper took their kids to a water park on Monday and then went to a family party in West Pullman.

But after dropping off a friend after the party early Tuesday, the Coopers were shot and killed a block away from their mother's West Pullman home, leaving their family devastated.

Demetrius, 35, and Leandre, 38, were found dead inside a red Dodge Charger in the 100 block of E. 120th St. around 3:40 a.m., said Officer John Mirabelli, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.

They were their mother's caregivers. The wheelchair-bound woman, who is recovering from her second stroke, was inside her home down the street when her sons were killed.

"How am I going to get downstairs?" she asked. "They gave me my medicine, they made my dinner. ... They were my everything.

"They were my help. They were my strength," Bobbie Cooper said softly. "All I can say is 'why?' They never hurt anybody."

One of the brothers was shot in his chin. The other was shot in his head and chest, Mirabelli said.

"Can you imagine? I was in my house by myself," their mother said. "I wished I could get up."

They were not affiliated with a gang, as far as police know, Mirabelli said.

A friend who knew the brothers for 12 years described them as family men with good kids.

Bobbie Cooper said her sons "were nice and friendly guys." She said the two were "very close" and loving men.

Her sons were attending a family party at their mother's house late Monday evening. When the party wrapped up the two dropped off a friend, only moments before the shooting, a close friend said.

"Everybody went their separate way then got the phone call to turn back around," the friend said.

When the friend returned to the scene, family members told him Demetrius had been shot in the car and Leandre was shot while trying to get out of the car. The red Dodge Charger was parked right off the alley.

"Someone had to say something to them, perhaps tried to rob them," the friend said.

Leandre's four children and Demetrius' daughter had just returned from a trip to a water park in Indiana together, the friend said.

Leantae Cooper, 16, described his father, Demetrius, as "supportive and always there."

"He always came to my sporting events," Leantae said.

His parents recently separated, forcing Leantae to transfer schools, he said. He had just begun playing a new sport at a new high school and was upset his father would miss it.

"I wanted him to come to my football games," Leantae said.

No one is in custody, police said.

Emily Morris contributed.