As reported by CBS2Chicago
May 11, 2007 10:25 pm US/Central
Family Mourns Teen Hero Killed In CTA Bus Shooting
South Side Students On Edge After Shooting Near Percy Julian High School
CBS) CHICAGO The search continued Friday night for the gunman in a deadly bus shooting on Chicago’s South Side Thursday.
And as CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, Friday night family members were remembering the young victim who lost his life.
Chicago Fire Department Captain Annette Nance-Holt struggles to speak for a moment. Her pain is unmistakable.
"I'm so proud of my baby. I would do anything to get him back, though,” Nance-Holt said. “I wish it was me. I wish it was me.”
“I really don't know how I’m going to get through this, I really don't,” she said.
Nance-Holt's only child, 16-year-old Blair Holt, was killed on a CTA bus Thursday afternoon after a teenage gunman got on and opened fire, hitting five people. Holt was on his way home from Julian High School.
Victim Tiara Reed's father says Holt was shot point blank after he pushed Tiara out of the way.
Nance-Holt says her son's heroism doesn't surprise her.
"This is the story about a young black man who had a promising future ahead for himself and who could change the world, who could change a lot of things and who people looked up to,” she said.
Holt's father is a Chicago police officer. Police Superintendent Phil Cline says his officers are doing all they can to find the 16-year-old’s shooter. Police have surveillance video from the bus, and they believe they know who the shooter is. Sources tell CBS 2 he is a former student from Julian who was expelled last fall.
"We know who he his, we have our fugitive unit lookin' for him, Area 2 detectives are looking for him and the attack and gang teams out there all know about him,” Cline said.
Nance-Holt says when caught, the shooter should be charged as an adult.
"For the 16 years that I had him, he was a joy, a blessing,” she said.
According to paramedics, while Blair Holt was on his way to the hospital he asked them to tell his parents he loved them.
Other students at Julian High School remained shaken Friday.
As CBS 2's Mai Martinez reports, at least four of the teen victims were students at Percy L. Julian High School, at 10330 S. Elizabeth St.
Police are looking into the possibility that the shooting may have been gang-related, and because of concerns about retaliation, patrols were stepped up at Julian High and at Corliss High School, at 821 E. 103rd St. They continue to look for the gunman who opened fire on the bus.
The shootings happened on Thursday afternoon when the gunman boarded the bus at 103rd and Halsted streets. He opened fire on passengers aboard as the bus traveled east on 103rd Street.
When the bus driver pulled over the bus at 103rd Street and Lowe Avenue, the gunman fled on foot. It was only about 3 1/2 blocks east of where the gunman got on.
As CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports, only half the kids at Percy Julian showed up for school Friday. Those who did and took the bus home were personally escorted by cops on board, and more trailing behind.
“We want the students to know that the police are there, that we're trying to make the bus safe for them,” said Michael Trepelas of the Chicago Police Department.
Parents arriving at Julian Friday morning were met by a strong police presence as officers from both the district police patrol and the police Transit Detail patrolled the area. After hearing what happened to their classmates, many students were nervous about returning to school for fear of retaliation.
"Somebody else could get shot," a female student said. "You don't know who it's going to be."
"I was scared it might happen again this morning," a male student said.
Parents did their best to ease their children's fears, but at the same time had some concerns of their own.
"I felt a little bit safer, and that was what I was trying to explain to her today – that more security would be here today, so she would probably be a lot safer here today," said parent Regina Kitchens.
Another parent said police should have taken action sooner.
"My concern is if the police knew that all this activity was going on, why did they wait until after the shooting to step up the patrols?" said Lawrence Bosley. "I mean, if they knew all of this was going on, they should've been out here long ago, and when it's over, how long are they going to be here?"
Hurt and anger were the emotions many students were feeling Friday. They weren’t alone.
“I'm furious, I’m hurt,” said Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan. “This is a school bus. Kids were on this bus. For children to have to deal with this is staggering.”
Duncan acknowledges that the police escorts won't last long. Students also know that, and they admit when the police are gone, their fear of riding the bus will return.
“I don't feel comfortable. It makes me scared,” said Bronyen Riley Palmer. “If they don't put the person in jail it's gonna happen again.”
“Me, I have no choice. That's my transportation to get home,” one student said. “People at my house work and they use their cars for work.”
Many students seemed grateful for the added police presence.
"It makes me feel a lot safer because if someone tries to get in school, they'll most likely get caught before they make it past the door," the male student said.
Several of the shooting victims left Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn late Thursday after being treated for non-life-threatening wounds.
The school board is offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads police to the killer.
In the meantime, grief counselors and social workers are at Julian High, helping students cope with the tragedy.
CBS 2's Mai Martinez, Rafael Romo, Dorothy Tucker and Dana Kozlov contributed to this report.
The story can be found at; http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/lo...131070629.html