CHICAGO – A teenager murdered over the weekend is being remembered tonight as a young man with a bright future.
In Theotis Luckett’s short life, he impressed one of the world’s most influential people.
Theotis was already a father at 16-years-old. He was looking for a second job and making plans for higher education.
Theotis recently met Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The two, along with Cook County commissioner Richard Boykin met during last spring’s Facebook summit in Chicago.
Zuckerberg wrote about Theotis’s death on Facebook, and called it “incredibly tragic.”
“Thinking of Theotis’s family and friends and everyone working to keep things like this from happening in Chicago and across the country. We have to do better.’”
He had just finished a program at the downstate Lincoln's Challenge Academy when he was chosen to meet Zuckerberg.
“What we have is a virtual state of emergency in the city,” Boykin said. “Where too many of our young people are being gunned-down … too many of them have been slaughtered like animals in the street,” Boykin said.
Theotis’s mother Maria Newson-Luckett hasn’t eaten or slept in three days. She’s surrounded by relatives 24-7.
“No matter how this came to occur, I know I’m blessed,” she said. “I look around and I know I’m blessed. I’m not going to question God.”
She called her son TJ. He was a new father and walking home from seeing his daughter early Saturday morning. He was on facetime with 10-week-old Hazel when he was shot in the back.
According to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, the number of people 18 and under, children, shot and killed in Chicago so far in 2017 is at least 76.
So far, no one is in custody for Theotis’s murder.