The suspected Chicago gang member who has been charged with first degree murder in the deliberate killing of a 9-year-old boy is almost certainly the same young man seen happily brandishing a handgun in a YouTube video.
“I keep the Nine on me,” 27-year-old Corey Morgan announces as he clutches what appears to be a 9-mm semi-automatic pistol.
The video was posted in 2013, two years after Morgan was convicted on a felony weapons charge. He got off with probation, but he remained a convicted felon and was therefore barred from possessing a gun of any kind.
Morgan is known in the street as Tez Poe, and he apparently appears under that name in a YouTube video titled “Lil T Ft Tez Poe—Fast Money.” He is joined by several other members of the Bang Bang Gang (BBG) in displaying firearms in the 4:59 clip. One member sports a “Chiraq” baseball cap. Members also wave oversized red bandanas emblazoned with an AK-47 and the words “#227 Chopper Crew.”
The numbers correspond to the second and seventh letters of the alphabet: BBG. The Bang Bang Gang is a faction of the Terror Dome gang, which is a faction of the Black P Stone Nation gang.
As reported in The Daily Beast last week, BBG has been warring in recent years with the New Money Renegade Gang, which is a faction of the Killaward Gang, which is a faction of the Gangster Disciples gang. Morgan is said to have been wounded more than once in the continuing conflict.
“New Money shot him on a couple separate occasions,” a friend told The Daily Beast.
On Oct. 13, BBG’s fatalities came to include Morgan’s younger bother, 25-year-old Tracey, known as T-time. Tracey Morgan was shot to death as he rode in a car with their mother. The mother was also hit but survived her wounds. Witnesses reported that she screamed out in horror and grief.
On Nov. 2, a pair of gunmen walked up to fourth-grader Tyshawn Lee in the alley behind his grandmother’s house shortly after he returned from school.
Tyshawn’s father, Pierre Stokes, aka Woodie, is said to be a member of New Money. But the boy lived with his grandmother in what happened to be BBG territory.
And that apparently was enough to make him a target, most particularly if the gunmen were trying to answer the death of a BBG member’s loved one with the death of a New Money member’s loved one.
And the boy was the easiest of targets, a child in BBG territory, far from possible protectors and armed with nothing more deadly than a basketball.
To get at the boy’s father, the gunmen likely would have had to venture deep into New Money territory. Stokes is said to have a reputation as a “half court shooter” who does not run right up on the “opps,” the opposition, instead remaining well inside the block.
The most craven of cowards, the gunmen went after Stokes’s son. The autopsy shows that Tyshawn died from a bullet fired into his temple at close range: an execution.
The child seems to have reflexively raised his right hand in an attempt to protect himself, for his thumb was nearly severed.
In the aftermath, the police questioned Corey Morgan, but he had a lawyer and he was insisting on his innocence. He was released because the police lacked enough evidence to keep him behind bars. He dropped out of sight, likely at least as worried about vengeful New Money members as he was about the police.
A video was posted on Facebook showing several BBG members in a hotel elevator, perhaps the Hilton in suburban Oak Lawn. Morgan and another young man were driving away from there on Wednesday when they were pulled over by police who had apparently been tipped off to their hideout.
Morgan had apparently not wanted to be caught “lackin’,” or unarmed, in the midst of the gang warfare. The cops are said to have found two guns when they searched the car.
In Cook County criminal court, Morgan was charged with violation of 720 ILCS 5/24-1.1 (a) of the state criminal code, which prohibits felons from possessing a firearm.
But the case everybody was really thinking about was the murder of the 9-year-old. Morgan had not been charged with the killing, and his lawyer continued to insist on his innocence. But that did not stop the judge from remanding him in lieu of $1 million bail.
Morgan was subsequently freed after a $100,000 bond was posted by his girlfriend, who had recently received a large settlement in a law sit involving a hospital. Morgan was at liberty again when his was arrested again, this time for the murder of Tyshawn.
The Chicago police announced the arrest with a tweet on Thanksgiving Day. Morgan is due in bond court on Saturday.
The video remains on YouTube, including the images of a young man who is almost certainly the same “person of interest” in a crime that shocked even a city jaded by seemingly unending gun violence.
He holds the pistol with as much glee as if he had belatedly discovered his penis.
Only it is an instrument of death that took the life of a defenseless child.
“Anywhere I go, you know there bad coming,” raps the gunman in the video.