“I miss you so much. I miss you every day, every second,” Angela Gregg said about her slain son, Mychal Moultry Jr. “My heart breaks for you. You didn’t deserve this. We didn’t deserve you, M.J. You were the best kid.”
The mother of a 4-year-old boy who was shot and killed over the violent Labor Day urged the shooter Thursday to “have a heart” and come forward.
“I know it’s tearing you up inside,” Angela Gregg, the mother of young Mychal Moultry Jr., told his killer during a news conference outside St. Sabina Church in Gresham, where she was flanked by family members and other parents whose children have been killed.
Mychal, known to his loved ones as “M.J.,” was visiting from Alabama when he was shot twice in the head Friday night. Outside the home, shell casings littered the front yard of the building, which had a shattered front window.
The young boy died two days later.
“Let us be at ease,” Gregg said in her appeal to the shooter, fighting back tears. “Give us some type of peace. Don’t take that away from us, too. Don’t take our son and take our peace, like our peace of mind. Like, give us something. You’ve taken everything.”
Wearing T-shirts emblazoned with photos of Mychal’s beaming face, Gregg and the boy’s father, Mychal Moultry Sr., pressed for answers and support from the community as they attempted to describe their monumental loss.
“I miss you so much. I miss you every day, every second,” Gregg said of her son. “My heart breaks for you. You didn’t deserve this. We didn’t deserve you, M.J. You were the best kid.”
Mychal had been excited to visit his father in Chicago, his mother noted. But after the bright-eyed boy was left another innocent victim of its surging gun crime, both his parents placed blame on the city itself.
“They’re taking children out here, and I’m a witness,” the boy’s father said. “They took mine. … I am so sad with my city. This is terrible.”
Mychal was the second 4-year-old shot in Chicago in the span of a week, and the second killed in the city this year. So far this year, 41 other children age 17 and younger have been shot to death, according to Sun-Times data.
By all accounts, Mychal was a gifted child with a promising future. On the verge of his fifth birthday, he was even slated to take a test that would determine whether he could skip a grade in school, his father told reporters.
A GoFundMe campaign launched by Gregg seeks to “raise awareness and get justice” for her slain child. As of Thursday evening, she had already raised over $17,000 of the $25,000 goal.
Andrew Holmes, a typically mild-mannered community activist who works with the families of gun violence victims, couldn’t hold back his frustration Thursday as he pushed members of the community to identify the killer.
“We gotta put an end to people shooting and killing children,” he said. “Am I my brother’s keeper or am I my brother’s killer?”
Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina, a longtime crusader against gun violence, has been working with Holmes to raise awareness about the case. Together, they’ve put up a $9,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
“To those that know something, you cannot say that you care about what happened to this beautiful child and remain silent,” Pfleger said. “For those that know, I want to speak to your conscience.”
“Speak up for Mychal,” Pfleger added. “He can’t speak for himself.”
A police spokeswoman on Thursay said she had no updates to report about the homicide investigation, saying only that detectives are continuing to investigate. Over the holiday weekend, five other people were killed and at least 61 others wounded in citywide gun violence, including seven more children 17 and younger.
“This will be a Labor Day I’ll never forget,” his father said.