CHICAGO — The mother of slain 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee is under fire on social media for purchasing a new car.
Karla Lee posted several videos on Instagram early Saturday morning, now deleted, defending her purchase, saying she needs it for protection and that she's scared to walk or take the bus.
According to unverified Facebook posts Saturday, Lee had posted on Facebook that she had spent money from her son's GoFundMe page on the car, then deleted her account due to overwhelming negative reaction. DNAinfo Chicago could not independently confirm this Saturday afternoon.
More than $17,000 was raised through a GoFundMe page that was set up to pay for the boy's funeral. The page's creator, who said she was a friend of Tyshawn's mother Karla, said the page was organized to "help [Karla] in her time of need with any small donations to help her lay her son to rest."
The GoFundMe creator could not immediately be reached for comment.
Listen to Supt. McCarthy's remarks at Thursday's press conference:
Karla Lee later posted several Instagram videos in defense of her actions, saying she was the best mother possible to Tyshawn and she bought the car to protect herself so she wouldn't become "a target" by walking or taking the bus.
"If a m-----f----- telling you they gonna try to take your life, too, because of whatever the f--- is going on ... they already took my son. I walk to work, I get on the bus. I'm not trying to be a target for nobody," Karla Lee said in one of the videos.
In the emotional videos, which were deleted Saturday afternoon, she pleads for people who are not supporting her to leave her alone.
"I got this s--- for my protection. ... I'm pretty sure that's something my son would have wanted me to do," she said in another video.
Some commenters on social media and on GoFundMe said that if the family received free burial services, they wished to get their money back. GoFundMe user Joe Smith wrote, "Used the money to buy a car, rather than either return it or donate it to charity. It was given to her to offset funeral costs and instead she used it to benefit herself."
Other commenters were more sympathetic, ageeing with Lee's assertion that she needed the car for protection.
Tyshawn Lee was lured into an alley and executed on Monday, possibly because of his family's gang ties, Supt. Garry McCarthy said this week. He was killed near his grandmother's home in Auburn Gresham.
The reward for information about Tyshawn's murderer is now $54,600.
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