A family in Chicago is mourning the loss of a lighthearted, caring and motivated 15-year-old who was fatally shot while delivering newspapers in order to earn enough money for a gift for his sister and a date with his girlfriend.
On Sunday, Brian Jasso woke up before sunrise with his mother’s boyfriend, a 28-year-old man who wishes to remain anonymous. Although his mother’s boyfriend offered to front him the cash to pay for the birthday present and date, Jasso wanted to make the money on his own.
“I like to work and I have to earn it,” the boyfriend remembered Jasso saying, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
As they started the route, Jasso was in the passenger’s seat while his mother’s boyfriend was driving the two to get coffee and fill up the car with gas. At one point, the car came to a stop at a traffic sign when another car behind them accelerated and hit the back bumper, according to the Chicago Police Department.
Then, the car behind them started flashing bright lights, signaling to the 28-year-old man that something was wrong. Although the people inside the other car didn’t make any gestures, a passenger thrust his body out of the passenger-side window and opened fire, police said
“I just heard shot after shot,” the 28-year-old man told the Chicago Tribune in Spanish. “I pulled him down when they broke the rear windows.”
The 28-year-old began to drive off, making sure Jasso stayed down. However, at some point during the drive, Jasso popped back up and was shot in the head.
“I tried to protect him in that moment but I couldn’t,” he told the Tribune. “I don’t know why he got up. We had made it, but he got up and that’s when they killed him.”
As the mother’s boyfriend pulled into a gas station and got away from the shooters, he pulled on the teen’s sweatshirt, and said “we made it.” That is when he saw Jasso was unresponsive and had blood on his face.
The teen and the 28-year-old man have no gang ties and police were looking into the possibility that the shooting could have been a case of mistaken identity, Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for the Chicago Police Department, told the Tribune.
The teen’s mother, Carmen Manzano, wants her son’s story to affect the shooters and hopefully inspire any witnesses to come forward.
The family said a fundraising site has been set up to help pay for funeral expenses.
(Photo: Getty Images)