GREATER GRAND CROSSING — Chicago police say Geremy Hoover, a relative of imprisoned Gangster Disciples former leader Larry Hoover, was fatally shot in Greater Grand Crossing Sept. 22 during a botched armed robbery that turned deadly.
But in the violent streets near the murder scene, rumors swirled it was a gang hit aimed to send a message to the powerful family of Larry Hoover, who is serving six life sentences in federal prison.
Geremy Hoover, 24, of Englewood — Larry Hoover’s second cousin — took two bullets in his face in broad daylight near 72nd and Wentworth and died three days later at Stroger Hospital.
It’s the kind of killing that typically sparks bloody retaliation.
Geremy Hoover’s grieving mother said she wants to send a message to warring gang factions, drug dealers and murderous thugs who continue to plague poor black neighborhoods with senseless violence.
“Please, if you find who did this or the responsible party, I don’t want anyone to kill him,” Dinah Hoover told DNAinfo.com Chicago. “For the sake of my son, I don’t want another mother to go through this. … to have to bury a child.”
She said people have told her that her son was “ambushed and executed.”
Area South Detective Division Cmdr. Joe Salemme said witnesses told investigators that at 1:15 p.m. Sept. 22, an armed man approached Geremy Hoover near 72nd and Wentworth, asked to borrow his cell phone but then started to rob him.
Witnesses told police Hoover ran away and was shot in his chin. The shooter then stood over Hoover, shot him in the face a second time and stole the contents of Hoover’s pockets.
Salemme said the investigation remains ongoing, but his detectives haven’t received much information from witnesses or community members who might be able to identify the shooter.
“We haven’t had much cooperation so far,” he said. “The family has been cooperative, but they weren’t there.”
Dinah Hoover, who is Larry Hoover’s first cousin, said the incarcerated former gang leader is upset about her son's death.
“Larry has red blood running through his veins like you and I do. Geremy is Larry’s blood relation, that’s an outright slap in the face, especially to Larry, who he was,” Dinah Hoover said. “And if he wanted to something negative to happen he has the power to do it. That’s not what we want to see happen.”
On Sunday, Chicago police had no one in custody but were still interviewing witnesses.
Salemme echoed Dinah Hoover’s call for people to work with police rather than resorting to street justice.
“We’ll be happy to talk to them and all they have to do is come forward,” he said. “If people want to come forward, we’re all ears. The way we solve the vast majority murders is mostly through interviewing people.”
During the first six months of the year, Chicago detectives had cleared more murder cases than during the same time frame in 2012, but Chicago’s infamous “no-snitch code” remains the biggest roadblock to solving murders in Chicago, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy has said.
Dinah Hoover said she wants someone who knows the triggerman to break the code of silence that keeps killers on the street and “give him to the law.”
“Normally, I’m a forgiving person, but I can’t say I can forgive him,” she said of her son’s killer. “If I had my way I don’t want anyone to kill him.”
Dinah Hoover said her son’s only affiliation with the Gangster Disciples was by his last name.
“He grew up fatherless, but not motherless. I raised children, he was one of four, and they didn’t grow up in the street life. His only association was he was born a Hoover,” she said. “He grew up a Jehovah’s Witness. He went to Bogan High School. He was never disrespectful.”
He wasn’t a “punk,” either, she said.
“He would stand his ground, but he wasn’t a bully,” Dinah Hoover said. “He had the gift of gab and could talk down a situation and defuse a situation if he could just talk it out.”
In fact, Geremy Hoover volunteered with Ceasefire, helping to defuse conflicts between rival gangs to avoid retaliation shootings.
“He had a crew of guys that he helped get jobs cleaning city streets and vacant lots,” Dinah Hoover said. “He was a leader and not a follower. And he was tired of the violence.”
Geremy Hoover also worked for his mother’s transportation company, which specializes in taking disabled and elderly people to doctor’s appointments.
“I have at least 700 clients and I don’t have one client that doesn’t speak highly of Geremy,” Dinah Hoover said. “They always say he’s delightful and helpful. … And now I can’t see my son anymore.”
She hopes making it known that her family has no interest in seeing Geremy’s murder avenged by street justice that more people will cooperate with police to catch her son’s killer and other shooters in Chicago.
“I just want [Geremy’s killer] to know they could have done to you what you did to my son, but it’s my wish that they not do that to you,” Dinah Hoover said.
“I don’t want this blowing into something bigger. I would just love for [the shooter] to go to court, get convicted, go to jail and live there until he dies. That’s my desire.”