Family members remembered Tramon Thomas as a “gentle giant” and a “man of peace” who worked hard to provide for his 15-month-old daughter.
Over the weekend, Thomas, 31, was killed and his brother, Terrance Thomas Jr., critically wounded in a shooting in Humboldt Park as they were delivering food.
The family is now asking the community to help police identify suspects by turning over any relevant surveillance footage or by providing information that leads to an arrest. Community activist Andrew Holmes said there’s a $2,000 reward.
“My sons didn’t deserve this, they’re out here trying to work for a living, trying to make ends meet for their family. It’s hard out here. They didn’t deserve this,” their father, Terrance Thomas Sr., said at a news conference outside Chicago police headquarters Wednesday afternoon. “My son ain’t harm nobody.”
The brothers were sitting in a car about 3 a.m. Saturday in the 1400 block of North Avers Avenue when a blue car pulled up and someone inside fired shots, according to Chicago police.
Tramon Thomas, 31, was shot several times and died at Stroger Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. His brother, 32, was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
Family said Terrance Thomas Jr. has had six surgeries since the shooting and “is not out of the fire.”
Their father said Terrance told him they had dropped off two of three deliveries in that area when they were attacked.
“They didn’t see it coming,” Thomas Sr. said. “A car pulled up on the side of them and bullets just started coming through the window, and Tramon was just getting hit, getting hit.”
Ald. Jessie Fuentes (26th) initially said after the shooting that the brothers were working for DoorDash. But in an email Wednesday the company said law enforcement officials informed them that the brothers were delivering for Uber Eats.
A spokesperson for Uber said in an emailed statement that the company has been in touch with police and will continue to help with the investigation.
“We are heartbroken by this horrific act of violence,” the spokesperson said. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the Thomas family during this tragic time and hope they get justice.”
John Shaw, the victims’ uncle, said Tramon Thomas was a “giver” who loved his family and watching football.
“He was working so he can take care of his daughter, that’s it,” Shaw said. “He did not ask for this, this was not for him.”
Their mother, Shirelle Shaw, said Tramon was “a great hugger” and a fantastic father who would give you the shirt off his back.
“There wasn’t anything that he wouldn’t do for anybody,” Shaw said, fighting back tears. “He was always doing things for people. And he was an awesome dad.”
Jeremy Shaw, another uncle, described Tramon Thomas as being the glue of the family who kept his siblings together.
“He had no violent bone in his body,” Jeremy Shaw said, “He was a big guy, but he was a gentle giant. Didn’t fight, no violent streak, no nothing. He was a very, very nice person and a good man who took care of his baby. He did everything a good man is supposed to do.”
The shooting has shattered their sister Shaquita Harris’ peace of mind. She often drives for Lyft, she said, and is now worried that she could also become a target.
“It makes me scared to make a living to do Lyft or anything because if I do Lyft, will that happen to me?” Harris said.
Johnnie Mae Jackson, the men’s grandmother, said Tramon was helping her with daily tasks such as cooking, washing, driving and grocery shopping as she battles an illness.
She said she prays police find those responsible and lamented the violence that has destroyed so many other families in the city.
“What is the city of Chicago coming to? Somebody has to do something about this, innocent people are dying,” Jackson said.