Demacio Bailey, the twin brother of 15-year-old Demario Bailey, who died when the pair were attacked by armed robbers in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, played in his Monday-night high school basketball game, dedicating it to his twin, the Chicago Tribune reports.
"He said, 'Mama, Issy would want me to play ball,' " the boys' mother, Delores Bailey, told reporters at the Johnson College Prep home game. "Issy" was Demario's nickname.
"He said, 'I'm going to live for my brother, Mama. I'm going to go to the pros,' " the grieving mother added.
According to the Tribune, Demario wasn't the basketball player Demacio is, but he constantly accompanied his brother to his practices. In fact, when the twins were attacked Saturday afternoon, they were walking to Demacio's basketball practice at their school.
Demario shouted at the robbers trying to protect his brother, pushing at one of them and demanding that they "Get off [his] brother." It was at that point that one of the robbers drew a gun, shooting Demario once in the chest, killing him.
"My son did nothing but what I told him to do. I told him to stick with his brother," the boys' mother told reporters. "I picked them up. I dropped them off. I picked them up. How did I know the devil was going to come at 12 o'clock?"
The boys would have turned 16 together on Tuesday.
During Monday night's game, both teams observed a moment of silence in honor of Demario before tip-off.
Bailey said she was determined to ensure that other children were saved from the fate her son met. "I'm going to get a bus. I'm going to use every dime I got and I'm going to drop them off and pick them up and make sure they get back to their mamas myself," she said.
"Some of these kids do want to live. Give them a chance," she added, according to the Tribune. "We need to stick together. Mothers, get up and let's live for our kids."
As the Tribune notes, four teens between the ages of 16 and 17 were charged in Demario's death. Carlos Johnson, 17; Isiah Penn, 17; and brothers Deafro Brakes, 17, and Tarik Brakes, 16, have all been charged as adults with first-degree murder, attempted robbery with a firearm and robbery.
Read more at the Chicago Tribune.