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Local News

Mother says teen who died in Sunday shooting was 'a very happy child'

17-year-old boy killed early Sunday after leaving birthday party

A 17-year-old who was shot to death planned to spend the night at a friend’s home after leaving his cousin’s birthday party in Shorewood, his mother said.

Linda Cooper said her son, Tyrone Portis, was traveling from his cousin’s Saturday night birthday party to stay overnight at the home of Latasha Allen and her nephew in Joliet.

Portis and Allen’s 17-year-old nephew were going to head to work Sunday at Walmart on Route 59, Allen said.

However, Portis was shot and killed early Sunday while he was riding in a car with three others in the 700 block of Palladium Drive East.

A 17-year-old girl who was in the car was wounded in the attack and treated for serious injuries at Amita Health Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet, police said.

The wounded teen’s condition later Sunday was stable, according to police.

The two others in the car at the time of the shooting were not injured, police said.

“He was a respectful child. He was a very happy child. He had a lot of friends,” Cooper said of her son.

She said his job at Walmart was his first and he had yet to receive his first paycheck. Portis was studying to earn his GED at Joliet Junior College, she said.

“I just want to know who did it,” Cooper said.

Joliet police responded to the shooting shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday. The police said they received early indications that a dark-colored SUV started following the car carrying Portis and the other three.

“At some point, someone began shooting at the vehicle, striking the victims,” Joliet police said.

Joliet police Sgt. Christopher Botzum didn’t to respond to calls Monday.

Allen said Portis was like a nephew to her. She said Portis was close friends with her late son Kaprice Griffin, 19, who was shot and killed in Chicago last year.

She said Portis was also close friends with Keonte Cook, 19, her other nephew, who was fatally shot in Joliet in May 2018.

“There’s too many boys out here getting shot,” Allen said.

“He was a respectful boy,” she said of Portis, adding, “He didn’t deserve that.”

Joliet police investigators ask any residents or businesses with surveillance video of any suspicious activity in the area to contact detective Ray Jansma at 815-724-3028 or the investigation unit at 815-724-3020.

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