Man charged with murder in 'assassination' of Tyshawn Lee, 9

By Greg Botelho, CNN | 11/27/2015, 3:54 p.m.
Four weeks after alleged gang members lured 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee into an alley and killed him -- a slaying that ...
Tyshawn Lee Facebook

"A baby was executed," said Pfleger, a Catholic priest and local faith leader. "A baby was assassinated right behind us in the alley."

One longtime resident, Deronce Curd, had trouble coming to grips with the idea of gangs going after children.

"How can a little boy, 9 years old, defend himself?" Curd asked. "I'm speechless to what is going on right now."

Authorities say one concern was the "code of silence": citizens' unwillingness to trust, and talk to, police. That's partly tied to tensions among law enforcement and African-Americans in Chicago, a situation that's come to the fore this week with protests over a video showing a white officer fatally shooting black teen Laquan McDonald in 2014.

That wasn't the case surrounding Tyshawn's shooting, however, with McCarthy lauding those who did come forward to help with the case.

"This was very clearly not a case of no snitching, but there was a lot of fear, which is completely understandable," the superintendent said. "If you have a monster who is willing to assassinate a 9-year-old, what is that person likely to do if they know that somebody is cooperating with the case?"

Police vow to wipe out rival gangs

Though police are confident that they know who was involved in Tyshawn's death, they still have work to do.

McCarthy expressed confidence that the unnamed man in custody won't be released anytime soon and that authorities will find Edwards, whom they've been hunting for weeks.

"He's turned his back on his family (and) basically burned bridges in the community with everybody," the superintendent said of Edwards, who he alleged is a "criminal" like the other two suspects. "We're definitely going to catch him; it's just a matter of when."

Going after the gang all three men were involved with, as well as the one they've been feuding with, is another priority for Chicago police.

"We're going to assign resources," McCarthy said, "to ensure that neither one of those gangs can raise (their) head again."

CNN's Tina Burnside and Dana Ford contributed to this report.