Today in Chicago we had a school kid get shot and killed for no good reason. He was 18, I feel 18 is a wayÂ too young to die. We have a big problem with gun violence in Chicago. I know guns don't kill, people kill, but turning our streets into more of a free fire zone than they already are isn't the answer either. Giving the death penalty to the offender is going to bring back the dead kid or is it going to deter the next street gang punk fromÂ shooting someone again.
From the 3/7/08 Chicago Sun- TimesGunned down after school CRANE HIGH SCHOOL | Officials shocked after student killed - possibly over a hat - with heavy security nearby
Emily Green experienced a parent's worst nightmare Friday when her 18-year-old son Ruben Ivy was brazenly gunned down outside Crane Technical High School moments after the dismissal bell rang.
A junior at Crane, Ivy was the 16th Chicago Public School student fatally shot this school year.
Ruben Ivy, 18, is shown with his cousin, Akia Ivy. Ruben Ivy was shot and killed moments after he left Crane Technical High School on Friday. Friends said the shooting was related to a fight earlier in the day over a cap.
A black coat lays in a pool of blood Friday afternoon on the front steps of Crane High School.
Friday's shooting, however, occurred in full view of one of five Chicago Police cameras stationed within a block of the Near West Side campus that is heavily patrolled by police and school administrators at dismissal time - as a number of students watched.
And the killing, according to reports, may have been over a hat.
"It's been hell. I'm trying not to cry," said the slain student's mother, who was all too familiar with this particular nightmare.
Just six years ago, Ivy's older brother, Raymond McNight, was killed when the car he was riding in was struck by a car that Green said was being pursued by police. The car in which her 15-year-old son was a passenger ricocheted into a bus, Green said.
"I cry so much my head hurts," Green said from her West Side home Friday night, surrounded by relatives as she clutched tissues and fought back tears.
"I just feel like I have to collapse," the grieving mother said.
Police characterized the shooting as gang-related.
CPS spokesman Michael Vaughn said some 10 to 12 police squad cars are normally in the school's area at dismissal time. Vaughn also said administrators form a "strong security presence" there when the final bell rings.
The shooting was "shocking'' because of the high level of security at Crane - both in manpower and technology - CPS Security Chief Andres Durbak noted.
"They do a great job over there. So it's shocking this would happen despite all those efforts," Durbak said.
Chicago Police First Deputy Supt. James Jackson said police were reviewing footage from the cameras and had a "person of interest" they were seeking.
Green said her son spent most of his time with his girlfriend, Regina Porter, 17, and his best friend, Lawrence Benson, 18.
Benson and other Crane students said the fatal shooting was related to a fight that had broken out in the school's third-floor hallway earlier in the day over urban headgear known as a "Buck Fifty" - a baseball cap with a working watch in it, which retails for $150.
Benson said that after the fight, "one boy kept messing" with Ivy.
"I told him just be calm," Benson said. "I made him promise me he wouldn't fight. He promised me."
But Benson said that as Ivy left the school after the dismissal bell rang, a group of boys approached him about a half-block west of the school, located at 2245 W. Jackson.
"He tried to defend himself," Ivy's best friend said. "By the time I made it to him it was too late."
Durbak said that one student was kicked in the head during the fracas and another "combatant pulled out a gun, fired once and killed this kid.''
Benson immediately called Ivy's mother, who rushed to the school.
When she arrived, her son "was just laying there up against the fence," the teen's mother said. "I just held my baby's hand. Seeing the blood coming out of his mouth I knew my baby was gone."
Friends and family said Ivy was an outgoing young man who loved playing basketball and watching Bears football games. He was the fourth oldest of eight children.
"It hurts. He was my best friend," said his girlfriend, Porter, recalling how Ivy bought her a teddy bear, a card and dinner this past Valentine's Day.
The teen's father, Ruben Ivy, Sr., of suburban Atlanta, said he had feared the worst for his son when he left him behind with his mother on the West Side.
"I was trying to get him down here. I was worried he would be incarcerated or worse in Chicago," the father said.
"I was hoping he could move here this summer."
After the shots were fired that killed Ivy, pandemonium broke out, students said. In the melee, one student suffered a seizure and was hospitalized, authorities said. Another student, Edwin Gilmore, 17, was beaten in the head and chest with a golf club on the school's front steps.
An hour after the shooting, his black jacket still lay on those steps, in a puddle of frozen blood.