Sincere Cole, a 15-year-old Chicago boy, was shot dead over the weekend while he walked to the corner store to buy some snacks. 

According to reports from local sources, the teen had just stepped out of a Shell gas station in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood near Marquette Park on Saturday, when a gunman opened fire. 

The assailant started firing, and at least 24 bullet wounds were found on Cole’s body by first responders at the scene. 

No arrests have yet been made in connection with the murder, and as of Thursday, police have not said if they have a suspect in mind. No motive for Cole’s slaying was readily apparent. 

Suspect at Large as Family Demands Justice

Meanwhile, Brandy Martin, the victim’s aunt and legal guardian, is urging residents of the neighborhood to step forward and help authorities identify her nephew’s killer. 

“Someone seen something. Please speak out,” she told WGN-TV. “Don’t wait for it to happen to you, and you have to stand in front of these cameras and ask for the same help you refuse to give.”

On Tuesday, Martin joined other loved ones for a vigil at the Chicago Lawn gas station where Cole lost his life. The mourners released balloons in the teen’s memory and continued to call on the community to help arrest a suspect. 

Sincere Cole, 15, was brutally gunned down leaving this Chicago gas station Saturday. No suspect has been arrested.
Sincere Cole, 15, was brutally gunned down leaving this Chicago gas station Saturday. No suspect has been arrested. Photo credit: Google Maps

“I need the cooperation of [the Chicago Police Department]. I need the cooperation of those people in them buildings back there that saw my nephew come down, that have not come forward,” she said, pointing to the many residences that surround the store. 

Cole’s brutal slaying comes on the heels of Chicago’s deadliest year in recent memory, according to the police department. Officials said recently that the city saw 797 homicides and 3,561 “shooting incidents” in 2021 — the most on record since 1996. 

For her part, Martin said she fears the search for Cole’s killer may quickly fade from public memory, given the scope of the city’s gun violence epidemic. 

“I’ve got to stand up here and scream from inside out and make sure I get the word out so he won’t be another name, another number, another tag,” she told reporters Tuesday

“Don’t forget about us because we’re put in areas that [are] low income.”

Brandy Martin, aunt of slain teen Sincere Cole, is urging witnesses to help identify a suspect in the murder.
Brandy Martin, aunt of slain teen Sincere Cole, is urging witnesses to help identify a suspect in the murder. Photo credit: YouTube

On Wednesday, the Faith Community Church of Saint Sabina offered a $5,000 reward for information that results in an arrest.

Sincere Cole Remembered

As the search for a suspect continued this week, the victim’s aunt took time to commemorate his short life. 

“Sincere was creative, ambitious,” Martin proudly recalled to WGN-TV. 

“An entrepreneur at 15. He found a way,” she continued. “Standing at the gas station pumping people’s gas to make money; it’s better than knocking an old lady in the head for her purse.” 

Sincere Cole, shot dead in Chicago Saturday, was remembered as 'ambitious' and 'loveable.'
Sincere Cole, shot dead in Chicago Saturday, was remembered as ‘ambitious’ and ‘loveable.’ Photo credit: Facebook

“He didn’t have to die,” she added, calling on city officials to assist the family in their bereavement. 

“He’s got siblings who are hurting. He has a father. I am pleading for help from my city to bury my nephew,” Martin said. “We need help, we need grief counseling.”

According to his aunt, Cole still struggled with feelings of loneliness and alienation after his mother, Felon Smith, died suddenly in 2019. 

Media reports indicate she was fatally struck by a Chicago Transit Authority train, when she dropped her phone off the platform and climbed down on the tracks to retrieve it. She was 37. 

Sincere Cole lost his mother Felon Smith just a few years before his own death. She was hit by a city train.
Sincere Cole lost his mother Felon Smith just a few years before his own death. She was hit by a city train. Photo credit: Facebook

After her sister’s death, Martin was given custody of her nephew — but only days later, her 22-year-old daughter Akeelah Addison Martin was shot dead in Fuller Park. No one was ever charged in connection with her murder.