Halloween shooting: vigil for east Chicago teenager Thomas Delacruz killed in sleight of hand in Hammond, Indiana

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HAMMOND, Ind. (WLS) – A vigil was held Thursday to remember a 13-year-old from East Chicago who was shot dead in a sleight of hand.

Thomas Delacruz was door-to-door shopping for candy on Halloween night in his grandmother’s Hammond neighborhood when he was killed.

RELATED | Halloween shooting kills 13-year-old boy, injures another in Hammond, police say

“They took the soul, they took my soul, and I have to wake up like this every day,” said her mother, Jasmine Anderson.

Even with her husband’s comfort, the grief was almost too much for Anderson to bear after her son was killed on Halloween night when a group of men opened fire on candy treats.

“I could tell a million people how smart and strong my baby was, the life he had ahead of him,” Anderson said.

Delacruz had just celebrated his birthday on October 1. He was in Hammond, where his grandmother lives, playing with his friends when his group was targeted by one of the shooters in a car who had previously exchanged words with another teenager in the group. It was around 7:30 p.m. when neighbors heard gunshots.

Police who arrived in the 3600 block of 167th Street said Delacruz was shot in the head and another 13-year-old boy was shot in the thigh.

“I just got out of the hospital,” said Delacruz’s father. “I was just sick thinking about my son.”

The man who allegedly started the attack is still at large. Another man, Desmond L. Crews, 23, of Gary, was charged Tuesday afternoon with murder and attempted murder.

Police said neighbors helped him catch him after seeing him flee the scene.

On Thursday night, the community came together to remember Delacruz, whose family loved video games, sports, and helping people.

“Our hearts are in so much pain, but thank you to everyone who came together,” said his grandmother, Marisol Delacruz.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hammond Police Department.

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