Debra Wilson said her stepson was spending Memorial Day barbecuing with neighbors on the West Side.
“Everybody loved him,” she said Monday night outside Stroger Hospital, where she and hundreds of other mourners gathered in the parking lot. “He was sweet as gold.”
Her stepson, 40-year-old Curtis Wilson, was shot multiple times about 7:10 p.m. while he was riding in a car in the 700 block of North Spaulding Avenue when someone opened fire from the sidewalk, according to family members and Chicago police.
He was taken to Stroger, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
At the corner of North Spaulding and West Chicago avenues, a silver-colored Nissan Altima could be seen crashed into a building while police investigated.
The car had at least 13 bullet holes in the passenger side windows. Dozens of evidence markers littered the block nearby.
“He was the type of person that threw good parties on the block. He had barbecues, treated the kids right, he was just a good person,” Debra Wilson said, noting that her stepson was sometimes called “Curty Man.”
She said she had seen her stepson only a few hours before the shooting, adding that he was about to start grilling meat for the party. But, she and Curtis Wilson’s father left the barbecue early, and that would be the last time she saw him.
“He just had a good heart, he was good to everybody,” she said.
Community activist Andrew Holmes implored the community to come together and share any information that could lead to the gunman’s arrest.
“This young man lost his life on Memorial Day. Memorial Day will never be the same for this family, so we pray for this family,” Holmes told the Sun-Times outside the hospital.
Holmes decried the violence that he says seems to go hand-in-hand with holidays in the city, depriving revelers a chance to enjoy time with their loved ones.
“The holiday weekends are not the same. The Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day. When you look at it, how can it be a holiday weekend when we have an increase in shootings?,” he said. “You can’t enjoy them.”