Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says a nine-year-old boy was “‘lured’ from a park into an alley and executed” as part of escalating, retaliatory gang violence, according to a devastating report from the Associated Press.

Tyshawn Lee, an elementary school student headed to his grandmother’s house, was shot in the head and back Monday in a neighborhood alley on the city’s South Side.

McCarthy alleged that Lee’s father, Pierre Stokes, is affiliated with one of the gangs involved, and has not been cooperating with the investigation. Stokes “disagreed with authorities’ characterization of him” and insists he has cooperated with police when prompted. He reportedly said police have “spent more time pursuing him than finding out who killed his son.”

“I answered every question they asked me,” he told reporters Thursday not far from the spot his son was killed. “They’re not asking me questions that I know. I don’t know the questions that they asked me.”

Police have not released specific details, but have reportedly executed several search warrants and interviewed a “person of interest” who has not been charged or arrested. Authorities reportedly “know the gangs and individuals involved but need help assessing who did what.”

A reward poster on the wall at Tyshawn Lee’s makeshift memorial. [Photo via AP]

The Faith Community of St. Sabina, “a well-known South Side Roman Catholic church,” has been raising money to offer a reward for information that leads to charges in the case, and the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a St. Sabina priest, has said he would contribute money out of his own pocket.

“This was not a drive-by. This was not a spray of bullets. A baby was executed,” Pfleger said. “We have gone to a new low that’s removed what used to be some codes, some barriers, some lines that used to be drawn in the community, some things in our city that were not acceptable.”

The Superintendent described Lee’s murder as “among the most ‘unfathomable’ of his 35 years in policing.”

McCarthy called it probably the “most abhorrent, cowardly unfathomable crime that I’ve witnessed in 35 years of policing.”

“Everybody is sick; everybody is disgusted.”

[Associated Press]

Photos via AP