Chicago shooting: Gardener killed on Lowe Avenue in West Pullman ID’d; the aspiring rapper was also shot and killed, according to his mother

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CHICAGO (WLS) — The gardener killed in a West Pullman shooting that also killed a 26-year-old aspiring rapper on Saturday afternoon has been identified.

Larry Purnell, 64, died at Christ Hospital, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office announced.

“I’m just in pain right now and I just want it to stop,” Purnell’s wife Sharon said.

She already lost her son in a shooting five years ago. Now she’s spending Mother’s Day mourning the loss of her high school sweetheart.

“He was a loving person. He was funny. I’ve been with him since I was 14. I don’t know anyone else. He’s all I had,” Sharon Purnell said.

The grief of Brandon Slater’s mother, who was also shot in broad daylight on Saturday, is unimaginable.

Diane Archer tries to figure out that nearly five months after burying a son because of gun violence, she now has to bury another.

“We were cooking our Mother’s Day dinner like I always do,” said Archer, the mother of the young victim. “He was a budding rapper. Everyone knew him as ‘Benji’. He was trying to do good. He had a son.

Slater was fatally shot as he and a friend exited a West Pullman home in the 11600 block of South Lowe Avenue at around 2:45 p.m. Saturday.

It’s a home that was in the midst of preparations for a big Mother’s Day on Sunday. These preparations included hiring Purnell to come and mow the lawn.

“He was cutting the backyard. They had called him to cut the backyard because of the big party tomorrow,” victims’ advocate Pastor Donovan Price said Saturday.
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Purnell, according to detectives at the scene, appeared to have come out from behind after hearing the first volley of gunfire. He was punched in the chest and later died at Christ Hospital.

Larry Purnell’s brother, Jared, was working with him when the shooting took place.

“Protected by home, we thought. Next thing I know he’s in my arms,” ​​Jared Purnell said.

Larry Purnell was considered the rock of the family, supporting them through landscaping work he did for the past five years.

He was also just two weeks away from turning 65.

“I was going to throw a party for him, which he knew nothing about, and now I have to throw a funeral,” Sharon Purnell said.

As the family continues to grieve, they plead for an end to the gun violence that plagues Chicago.

“Chicago is a great city, world famous, internationally known, but the things that are happening in Chicago are unacceptable,” Jared Purnell said. “It’s not just the South Side, it’s all over the city of Chicago.”

The motive for the shooting has not been determined.

Initial police reports appear to indicate that a car drove up to the house. Someone got out of the car and opened fire directly on Slater.

Police say Slater’s 27-year-old boyfriend was also shot in the leg. He is currently recovering at Christ Hospital.

No arrests were made on Sunday.

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