Family members gathered outside Chicago police headquarters over the weekend to remember Crystal Crockett — a nursing student and loving new mother to twin girls who was fatally shot earlier this month in Bronzeville.
Crockett, 21, moved to the city from Downers Grove just a few years ago to look after her grandmother and begin attending nursing school at Malcolm X College.
“She loved taking care of people,” said her sister Nivea Crockett. “She just loved her job.”
She began dating Elijah Clippard, 31, about a year ago and became pregnant with twin girls who were born in March, about 24 weeks before their due date, family members said.
Crockett was thrilled to be a parent and was a natural “super mom,” her sister said. Every day she visited the babies at the Rush University Medical Center NICU, where the babies will remain until they are able to breathe and eat on their own, family members said.
“They are tiny but they are mighty,” her sister said.
The evening of June 14, Clippard and Crockett were seen on surveillance video at the hospital visiting their child, Cook County prosecutors said.
At 6:15 a.m. the next day, Clippard is seen on surveillance video driving a car with Crockett in the passenger seat, prosecutors said. He parked the car in an empty lot behind an apartment complex and got out while holding a firearm in his right hand, appearing “seemingly agitated,” prosecutors said.
He looked around “as if to make sure no one is there” and allegedly fired at Crockett multiple times.
“My daughter did not deserve this,” Crockett’s mother Kylia Robinson said.
“Crystal wouldn’t hurt a fly,” her sister added.
Crockett told her family that she was afraid of Clippard, and her sister advised her to leave him.
“She could never tell him no, anytime she would tell him no, it would be a problem for her,” Nivea Crockett said. “She told him no I guess that day.”
Crockett’s older brother Creston Robinson said he now wishes his sister had stayed in the suburbs.
“Crystal did not deserve this, Crystal was a beautiful person, ” her brother said. “Crystal was very introverted, she was very respectful. She did what she had to do for her babies, she was an outstanding citizen.”
Police arrested Clippard Wednesday in the Eden Green housing development on the Far South Side, where he lived. Clippard was ordered held without bail Thursday and is expected back in court July 14.
The young babies will now have to grow up without either parent, advocate Andrew Holmes said Sunday.
“He (the shooter) not only took the mother’s life, but you also took the life away from her two precious kids,” Holmes said.