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Remembering Jechon Anderson, Age 11

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

More than a thousand people have been shot in Chicago this year. And this week, the Chicago Tribune reported the city suffered the loss of its youngest victim yet in 2018 to gun violence. Jechon Anderson was 11 years old.

PAMELA PITTMAN: He was such a happy kid. He loved life. He loved his family. He had a smile that would just brighten up a room.

SIMON: His aunt, Pamela Pittman, told us about Jechon's greatest joy in life.

PITTMAN: Basketball, basketball - everything was about basketball. He used to sleep with his basketball. You'd get up early in the morning, you hear a basketball dribbling, you know, oh, Jechon is up.

SIMON: He also loved to rap with his family. Pamela Pittman says he knew people who had been killed, so he rapped about peaceful streets and putting down guns. Yesterday, students, teachers and families gathered at his school, Harold Washington Elementary, to celebrate Jechon Anderson. They wore his favorite color - blue - and released balloons into the sky above the city in his memory.

(CHEERING)

SIMON: His aunt says Friday, June 5, will be known at his school as Jechon Day. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.