ROGERS PARK — Trina Carr sat at her kitchen table Thursday evening leafing through condolence letters.
The letters were from teachers and classmates of 17-year-old Markeyo Carr — her son — who was killed Wednesday afternoon in the city's Rogers Park neighborhood.
"The kids wrote stuff about how he's a funny person, about how he'll be missed," Carr said. "He's very outgoing."
A masked gunman opened fire at a group of people standing outside of a Rogers Park McDonald's about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The shooting left the teen dead with a gunshot wound to the head. Three other teens were injured in the shooting at 6740 N. Clark St.
An Uptown rapper, one of the three teens injured, might have been the target of the shooting, a police source said.
The police source said the rapper — who posted provocative online music videos taunting rival gangs in recent months — was a promising lead in determining the motive of the brazen attack that shocked the surrounding community.
"That’s a pretty strong lead," the source said. "It plays into what we think that’s about."
Some of the rapper's lyrics reference the ongoing feud between Howard Street's LOC gang and Morse Avenue's ICG gang.
The source said, however, that the investigation was developing and no conclusion could be drawn regarding the rapper or whether the shooting was gang-related.
Carr's family said they were upset about news reports that the shooting was gang-related. The 17-year-old was not in a gang, family members said.
Markeyo, a junior at Amundsen High School, was the third of five children. His oldest sister, Dysheka Bibbs, described her brother as outgoing and very funny. He had a big heart and was never afraid to speak his mind, she said.
The teen liked to smell good, his mother said. When Markeyo would run out of cologne, he would sometimes resort to using his older sisters' perfume, she said.
Markeyo liked sports, especially playing basketball and swimming. Bibbs said her younger brother also wanted to join the Marines.
"My husband's a Marine," she said. "And he always said he wanted to be, excuse my French, a bad ass, too."
Carr said her son had just gotten home from school Wednesday. She was starting to cook dinner, and her son asked for a couple bucks to get some food at the McDonald's just a few blocks from their Rogers Park home.
"He was on his way up there, and just 15 minutes [later], his brother ran in the house saying somebody got killed, got shot," she said. "And ...I just ran up there."
He was pronounced dead on the scene.
A 15-year-old girl was shot multiple times, and an 18-year-old man was shot in his back. Both were taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. Another 18-year-old man was shot in his arm, police said.
No updates were available Thursday on the conditions of the three people injured in the group.
The police source said the shooting was not likely directly related to a recent surge of gang graffiti nearby, which neighbors had worried was a precursor to a violent conflict.
But Patrick Kenny, a CAPS beat facilitator, said the graffiti was troubling to him and his neighbors.
"It’s on everybody’s mind," he said Thursday. "With all the graffiti, there was a sense of dread that something would happen in retaliation. It in fact did yesterday."
He said he hoped the street violence would end.
Bibbs said she wanted city leaders to do something about the violence affecting her family's neighborhood.
"Violence is here. It's alive, and it's killing our city's kids," she said. "Every day. And we need help."
Carr said she was trying to stay strong. She said she was comforted when doctors told her that her son's death was painless. When she went to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office to identify him, she said she was relieved to see his face was unharmed by the bullet that took his life.
"He looked peaceful," she said.